Google agrees to destroy browsing data collected in Incognito mode

They said the quiet part out loud.

For a long time we have had little trust in Google. As the saying goes, “if something is free, you are the product” and that is especially true for one of the worst offenders when it comes to privacy.

Google Docs, Sheets and Chrome are all great products but with them comes a dark side: if you are using someone else’s servers and there is no promise of privacy you are giving up ALL of your data.

Case in point: Incognito browsing mode data.

As the linked article states:

Google agreed to destroy or de-identify billions of records of web browsing data collected when users were in its private browsing “Incognito mode,” according to a proposed class action settlement filed Monday.

One would think when using private browsing that your data would be kept private. It is commonplace for developers to often use private browsing to test web applications so we can see how they perform when users are not logged in or are logged in as a different user.

However, “private” browsing is often cast in a nefarious perspective where others assume someone is doing something naughty.

The point is: whatever you do in a private window should be between you, your moral self and the internet.

It seems dubious to think that Google renamed “private” mode as “Incognito” because the latter hints at a degree of privacy but does not go the full gamut of guaranteeing privacy.

Another one of Google’s outright lies:

“We never associate data with users when they use Incognito mode,” Castañeda added. “We are happy to delete old technical data that was never associated with an individual and was never used for any form of personalization”

Not directly. Instead of using tracking cookies Google uses what is called “telemetry” to pinpoint user behavior across the web.

The fact that Google has to do this tells you everything you need to know about Chrome.

If you love Chrome and don’t want all of the Google spyware, download Chromium (get the one from the Stable Channel). It’s the same thing without the bloat. Or, better yet, Firefox.

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