Google Will Destroy Data That Was Collected From Chrome’s Incognito Mode

A lawsuit which dates back to 2020 alleged that Google was collecting information from Chrome users in Incognito mode. The company admitted tracking users in its private browsing mode back in January 2024, and Google was said to be in talks to settle the case.

Now, the latest report from the Wall Street Journal reveals that Google has pledged to delete the data it collected via Chrome’s Incognito mode. The company had previously changed the description of Incognito Mode in Chrome to make it more transparent to users.

Google’s Data Collection in Incognito Explained

Chrome’s Incognito mode does not store browsing history, cookies, and other details on the user’s local computer or phone. Hence, it is popular among users who want to quickly search the web without leaving a trace.

Although the data from Incognito mode was visible to internet service providers and websites, most users believed that Google did not keep records of browsing data, given that this mode was focused on privacy.

However, a $5 billion lawsuit was filed against Google in 2020, alleging that the company was tracking users even in Incognito mode. Instead of taking the case to a full trial, Google agreed to settle the matter for undisclosed reasons amicably.

Google Chrome’s new description for incognito mode (Image: MSPowerUser)

However, Google quietly updated the description of its incognito mode in some versions of Chrome for Desktop. It mentions that Google collects some information in Incognito mode. While this new description has not been rolled out to all users, it was an indirect admission from the company over the alleged claims.

Google ‘Pledges’ to Delete Data Collected From Incognito

According to the settlement terms, Google has agreed to destroy all the previously collected information from users in Chrome’s incognito mode. However, the company has not revealed a specific timeline or further details.

It is unclear whether Google will stop collecting data from private browsing mode. Given the changes we have spotted in Chrome’s description of Incognito, we can expect Google to continue the same behaviour but with better prior disclosure.

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