Google Engineers Reveal The Shocking Truth About Incognito
Because of its reputation as a "private" searching tool, incognito mode is the one that the majority of people put their faith in the most.
What if I told you that this feature in Google Chrome doesn't actually make your browsing history private? Google engineers reveal the shocking truth about incognito!
How would you react to that information? You have not made a mistake in your reading because the engineers at Google have disclosed this very interesting conversation.
COPYRIGHT_WI: Published on https://washingtonindependent.com/ebv/google-engineers-reveal-the-shocking-truth-about-incognito/ by Elisa Mueller on 2022-10-17T13:38:26.685Z
How Secure is Incognito Mode?
That sounds good, but Google was taken to court because it lied to people about how private browsing in Incognito mode is. The lawsuit says that they are not really private at all and that even when a user is in Incognito mode, Google still collects a lot of personal information.
Google says that they have always been clear about what Incognito mode is and what it isn't. To be fair, they do explain what Incognito is: none of your browsing history, cookies, site data, or form information is saved on your device.
What it isn't: It won't stop you from telling a website who you are, and it won't stop websites, your IT admin, or even your ISP from seeing what you do or where you are. It also won't stop the websites you visit from showing you ads based on what you do while in Incognito mode.
The lawsuit against them says that the average person doesn't understand the details. Research backs this up by showing that people don't understand how private browsing modes work.
It seems to be a joke among Google engineers as well. In a chat, one engineer said:
We need to stop calling it Incognito and stop using a Spy Guy icon.
- A Google Engineer
Another replied that the icon should be of Guy Incognito, a Simpsons character who "accurately conveys the level of privacy it provides."
When you turned on Incognito, you thought you were unplugged from the matrix, but the engineers think it's a joke.
According to one commenter on news.ycombinator:
What respecting people's privacy means is very unclear and varies widely from person to person the best quote I've heard on the topic is something to the effect of People claim they value their privacy but then they'll give their information to a clipboard holder in a mall for a Snickers bar. In fact, usually, they don't even offer the Snickers.
- Shadowgovt, a commenter on ycombinator
Even more, Google employees begged their bosses to change the way Incognito talked to customers. One product lead suggested that the launch screen say "You are NOT protected from Google" instead of "You are protected from other people who use this device."
As you might expect, this idea was turned down by executives.
Can schools see who is using incognito? Even if you use Incognito mode, school administrators can still see what sites you've been on. They can still see the sites you visit and when just like in normal browser viewing modes.
Private browsing only stops your web browser from keeping track of what sites you've been to. This means that if other people use your computer, they won't be able to see what you do online. It doesn't guarantee safety, though, because websites can still track what you do.
How to see incognito history?
- Step 1: Open a command prompt (administrator), by searching it in the search box.
- Step 2: Type command ipconfig /displaydns to see a DNS cache history.
- Step 3: Now you can see the detailed information about websites that are recently visited and didn't show up in history.
Google says that it makes it clear to users that Incognito mode isn't completely private and that users have already agreed to the company tracking their data. The trial hasn't been given a date yet but it could show what kind of information Google keeps Incognito.
It will be interesting to see how things turn out.