Source - Google employees cracked jokes about the Chrome browser’s “Incognito Mode” and criticized the company for not living up to its users’ expectations for privacy, according to a series of internal communications unearthed in court.
“Make Incognito Mode truly private,” Twohill wrote in a 2021 email. “We are limited in how strongly we can market Incognito because it’s not truly private, thus requiring really fuzzy, hedging language that is almost more damaging.”
“We need to stop calling it Incognito and stop using a Spy Guy icon,” one Google engineer wrote in 2018 with a link to the study about users overestimating Incognito’s protections. Another employee proposed changing Incognito’s launch screen to say: “You are NOT protected from Google.”
That proposed change was rejected by Google executives, according to court documents.
Wait wait wait...you mean to tell me that Google Incognito mode isn't actually Incognito? That the second largest technology company in the world has been secretly monitoring our activity even when they lead us to believe that they would do the opposite? That Google employees knew this and would frequently joke about how naive the general public is for trusting them them to do the right thing? Who'd have thunk!
According to one study, more than half of users believed Incognito mode prevented Google from seeing what they search online...
More than half of users falsely believe using Incognito mode prevents Google from seeing what they search online, according to a 2018 study from the University of Chicago and the Leibniz University of Hanover. In addition, more than 40% falsely think that Incognito prevents websites from estimating their location, according to the study.
...and now they may have to pay....
The emails were unearthed as part of an ongoing class action lawsuit against Google in California federal court on behalf of millions of Incognito Mode users. If a judge allows the suit to move forward, Google could be on the hook for billions of dollars in damages. Google employees cracked jokes about the Chrome browser’s “Incognito Mode” and criticized the company for not living up to its users’ expectations for privacy, according to a series of internal communications unearthed in court.
I just wish I knew about this lawsuit before it was filed. Lord knows I've got some Incognito searches I wouldn't want getting out. We all do. Think about how embarrassing that would be if your search history was exposed to the masses? Oh well. Even if Google does lose the lawsuit, what's few billion dollars to a company that's worth $1.3 TRILLION? Have a lovely Monday. Oh, and remember….someone's allllways watching.