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Google Quietly Modifies Chrome's Incognito Warning Following Tracking Lawsuit

Explore the changes in Google Chrome's incognito mode description post-lawsuit settlement. The updated text highlights persistent website data collection. Get the details in the latest Canary build.

Google Chrome Updates Incognito Mode Description Amid Lawsuit Settlement

In response to a recent lawsuit accusing Google of illicitly tracking browsing activities during Chrome's incognito mode, the tech giant has quietly adjusted the browser's description of its private browsing feature. The modification, detected in the latest Canary build (version 122.0.6251.0) by MSPowerUser, aims to provide more transparency about the limitations of privacy in incognito mode.

The updated text now states, "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."

Comparatively, the previous stable version of Chrome presented this message: "Now you can browse privately, and other people who use this device won’t see your activity. However, downloads, bookmarks, and reading list items will be saved. Learn more."

Notably, the bullets beneath the incognito notice, indicating potential visibility to "Websites you visit," "Your employer or school," and "Your internet service provider," remain unchanged.

This alteration is significant as it addresses concerns raised during the lawsuit, where Google's previous incognito mode description was deemed insufficient by Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers. Google had argued that it adequately informed users about potential tracking during incognito sessions. The lawsuit settlement terms are expected to be presented to the court in January, with final approval anticipated by the end of February.