Texas Amends Lawsuit Against Google to Include Incognito Browsing

Daniel Attoe
Daniel Attoe

Updated · May 20, 2022

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On Thursday, Attorney General Paxton said that the private browsing mode on Google’s web browsers is not truly anonymous.

False, Deceptive, and Misleading

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton claims that Google’s private browsing feature collects data on users. This follows his filing of an amendment to a previous lawsuit brought against the company.

Incognito Mode is a Chrome privacy feature that generates a temporary session for users. It stops the browser from collecting and storing search history, as well as personal details.

In January, Texas took Google to court, alleging that it profited off collecting location data deceptively. That lawsuit also involved Washington, Indiana, and the District of Colombia. It said Google’s location tracking practices constitute an invasion of privacy.

With this filing, Paxton has added Incognito Mode to the case. He accuses Google of becoming one of the world’s biggest companies by “deceiving Texans and profiting off their confusion.”

“​​Google’s representations about Incognito mode are false, deceptive, and misleading,” the suit reads.

It adds that Texans use the option for several purposes, “including viewing highly personal websites that might indicate, for example, their medical history, political persuasion, or sexual orientation

“Google, however, has misled such Texans to believe that they have meaningful control over whether Google collects personal information during so-called Incognito sessions.”

The Big Tech company’s tracking and data collection practices have attracted criticism from users and privacy stakeholders over the years. However, it considers this “outdated”.

“The Attorney General’s case is, once again, based on inaccurate claims and outdated assertions about our settings,” a Google spokesman said in a statement. 

“We have always built privacy features into our products and provided robust controls for location data. We strongly dispute these claims and will vigorously defend ourselves to set the record straight.”

Sources.

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Daniel Attoe

Daniel Attoe

Daniel is an Economics grad who fell in love with tech. His love for books and reading pushed him into picking up the pen - and keyboard. Also a data analyst, he's taking that leap into data science and machine learning. When not writing or studying, chances are that you'll catch him watching football or face-deep in an epic fantasy novel.

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