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  • Voltaire Staff

Google admits users' activities tracked even in Incognito Mode in latest Chrome update

Google has updated the warning on Chrome's Incognito mode to explicitly state that both Google and external websites can still gather your data, even when using the web browser's Incognito mode.


The disclosure comes in the wake of a 2020 lawsuit, under which Google agreed to pay $5 billion.


People who are familiar with technology often know that private modes in web browsers don't stop websites or Internet service providers from tracking you. However, many others might not fully grasp what Incognito mode does. The more detailed warning could help users understand it better.


Google has now updated the fine print for its incognito mode clarifying that data collection still occurs, including saving downloads, bookmarks and reading list items for incognito mode.


The warning was added to Chrome Canary, a version for developers, in response to a lawsuit complaint.

According to website MSpoweruser, which first spotted the change, the new disclaimer when a user will go incognito says, "Others who use this device won’t see your activity, so you can browse more privately. This won’t change how data is collected by websites you visit and the services they use, including Google. Downloads, bookmarks and reading list items will be saved."


The stable version's incognito mode says, "You've gone Incognito. Now you can browse privately, and other people who use this device won't see your activity."


The old and current stable warnings note that incognito mode won't change how websites collect data, while the new Canary warning emphasizes "browse more privately." Both versions explain what is saved or not saved during private browsing.


Google hasn't specified when this warning will be in the stable version but aims to offer more information and maintain user choice in Incognito mode.


As of today, the new warning hasn't been added to the developer, beta, and stable versions of Chrome. It also hasn't been incorporated into Chromium.


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