Google disclaimer tells Chrome users ‘incognito’ mode may not be as private as they think

Eve Harrison

Google Chrome has updated the message some users see when using “incognito mode,” following the settlement of a $5 billion tracking lawsuit, reports say. The updated text, reported by The Verge citing, has been seen on Chrome’s “Canary” build version 122.0.6251.0. Google calls Canary an “early-release, experimental version of Chrome browser that’s recommended only for advanced testing” for developers.

The new incognito window text at opening reads, “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. Learn more,” according to The Verge. The previous message, which is still used on current stable versions of Chrome, tells users they could “browse privately, and other people who use this device won’t see your activity.” It did mention downloads, bookmarks and reading list items would be saved, and gave users the option to block third-party cookies.

The class-action lawsuit that resulted in the verbiage update was settled Dec. 28. It was filed in 2020, and alleged Google used private browsers to track internet use. A federal judge still needs to approve the settlement on Feb. 24. “We’re pleased to resolve this case, which we’ve long disputed, and will provide even more information to users about Incognito Mode,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement to USA Today. “Incognito mode in Chrome will continue to give people the choice to browse the internet without their activity being saved to their browser or device.” Google did not immediately respond to a Fox Business request for comment about the incognito mode disclaimer change.

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By Eve Harrison “TF Gadget Guru”
Eve Harrison is a staff writer for TechFyle's TF Sources. With a background in consumer technology and digital marketing, Eve brings a unique perspective that balances technical expertise with user experience. She holds a degree in Information Technology and has spent several years working in digital marketing roles, focusing on tech products and services. Her experience gives her insights into consumer trends and the practical usability of tech gadgets.
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