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Google Says Incognito Doesn’t Mean Invisible in Bid to Toss Suit

Oct. 22, 2020, 4:49 PM

Google users should know their “incognito” browsing is visible to others, the Alphabet Inc. unit said in seeking to dismiss a lawsuit that alleges the company violates user privacy.

Disclosures make clear the Chrome browser mode doesn’t make user activities “invisible,” the company said in a filing Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

The mode prevents other people who use the same device from seeing a user’s activity, but not third parties. “The user’s activity during that session may be visible to websites they visit, and any third-party analytics or ads services the visited websites use,” the filing said.

Consumers who brought the lawsuit claim that gathering Incognito users’ IP addresses and other information from websites is deceptive, invades privacy, and violates federal wiretapping law.

The case is: Brown v. Google LLC, N.D. Cal., No. 5:20-cv-03664, 10/21/20.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrea Vittorio in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
John Hughes at
Keith Perine at