Not so private browsing
Embedded in a process that could cost several billion dollars, Google has a vested interest in making Chrome browsing private. “truly private” admits Lorraine Twohill, marketing manager at Google, in an email addressed to Sundar Pichai.
“We need to stop calling it private browsing and using a spy icon ” suggested another employee in 2018. Aware of the limitations of this option, a Googler – aka a Google search engine employee – even offered to change the spy icon to that of Guy Incognito, a character from the simpsons modeled entirely on Homer, but with a small mustache. a figure that“It reflects well the level of privacy offered [pelo modo de navegação privada do Google Chrome] ”, jokes the manager.
Google Chrome’s private browsing mode does not effectively prevent advertising agencies from tracking you on the web. Concretely, this mode only prevents your computer from remembering your browsing history, but your IP address can still be recorded.
This allows website publishers and Google to continue to collect personal information about Internet users who use them. “We’re limited in how we can promote private browsing because it’s not really private. This forces us to use vague language and prevarications.” laments Lorraine Twohill in the same email addressed to the CEO of Google.
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Google considers itself transparent on the matter
First of all, the heart of the dispute is the small informational message that Chrome displays when opening an incognito tab. For Google, this message is “clear about the functioning and usefulness of the system [de navegação privada]” while, according to some contributors, the tool’s presentation is misleading, forcing Internet users to click on a “Learn more” link to understand how the tool works.
Indeed, a study cited in one of the emails unearthed by Bloomberg even explains that 56.3% of internet users surveyed believe that private browsing prevents Google from tracking their activities. Which is not the case.
In conclusion, it will be up to Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers (the same one who handled the Fortnite case vs. Apple) to determine whether Google’s communication is misleading and whether the class action initiated months ago can therefore continue. Namely: in the meantime, if you really want to browse as anonymously as possible, the best solution is to use the Tor network.
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