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Emails show Google employees MOCKED company’s ‘incognito mode’ browser – saying it’s not private

Leaked emails show Google employees MOCKED company’s ‘incognito mode’ browser – saying it’s ‘not truly private’ – as consumer lawsuit seeks BILLIONS in damages for the company’s false promises

  • Google employees mocked the company’s false advertisement of the private browsing ‘incognito mode’ option in a string of leaked emails from 2018
  • Engineers at the company suggested the tech giant halt the name ‘incognito mode’ after a study was released about the browsers lack of protection
  • A judge in Oakland, California, will review the emails along with other documentation and decide if a consumer lawsuit targeting the feature will proceed

Leaked emails reveal Google employees mocked the company’s ‘incognito mode’ browser feature, saying it was not ‘truly private’ as the tech giant suggests.

In a series of emails cited in a California-based lawsuit on behalf of a million users, employees in 2018 suggested the company halt deceptive advertising of the incognito feature on Google that supposedly allows users to ‘browse privately’ to avoid others using a shared device to view the search history.

The lawsuit alleges the private browsing option that features an outline of a mysterious man with glasses and a detective hat is misleading since Google can still view consumer data, according to Bloomberg.

‘We need to stop calling it Incognito and stop using the Spy Guy icon,’ an engineer said in an email chain in 2018 after providing a study about the lack of protections on the browser.

Another engineer responded with a meme of the Simpsons television show episode where a look-alike of Homer Simpson, dubbed ‘Guy Incognito,’ was shown identical to the show protagonist but with a mustache, suit, and top hat.

The engineer joked that Guy Incognito’s costume ‘accurately conveys the level of privacy [the browser] provides. ‘

A judge will rule on Tuesday on whether the lawsuit will proceed. If found liable, Google may be fined to pay billions to consumers.

Google is facing a lawsuit after consumers suggested the company's Incognito browser isn't actually private

Google is facing a lawsuit after consumers suggested the company’s Incognito browser isn’t actually private

The lawsuit sites employee's emails from 2018 that suggested the company halt the false advertising of the private browsing feature

The lawsuit sites employee’s emails from 2018 that suggested the company halt the false advertising of the private browsing feature

One employee joked the Incognito icon should be a look-alike of Homer Simpson, dubbed Guy Incognito, was shown identical to the show protagonist but with a mustache, suit and top hat

One employee joked the Incognito icon should be a look-alike of Homer Simpson, dubbed Guy Incognito, was shown identical to the show protagonist but with a mustache, suit and top hat

Google’s marketing chief Lorraine Twohill emailed CEO Sundar Pichai last year on International Data Privacy Day to request the tech giant become more private, according to Bloomberg.

‘Make Incognito Mode truly private, Twohill wrote in an 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.’

Twohill’s email and other employee documentation are among the court documents that will be reviewed in an Oakland, California, courtroom on Tuesday.

Incognito mode on Google advertises that other users will not be able to view browsing history – but doesn’t say the tech giant cannot view data.

‘Privacy controls have long been built into our services and we encourage our teams to constantly discuss or consider ideas to improve them,’ a Google spokesperson said in a statement.

‘Incognito mode offers users a private browsing experience, and we’ve been clear about how it works and what it does whereas the plaintiffs in this case have purposely mischaracterized our statements.’

The lawsuit further cites an email sent to CEO Sundar Pichai last year urging to make the tech giant more private for consumers

The lawsuit further cites an email sent to CEO Sundar Pichai last year urging to make the tech giant more private for consumers

US District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers will review the case. If found liable, Google could owe millions of consumers up to $ 1,000 per violation, according to Bloomberg.

The lawsuit also aims to hold the tech giant responsible for lacking transparency on the Incognito mode option that was believed to keep browsing private for users.

Consumers are suggesting Google change the language on the private browsing feature to make users aware that the tech giant can still gather their data.

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