Google’s CEO tried to keep incognito mode issues out of the spotlight, the lawsuit alleges

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September 24 (Reuters) – Google boss Sundar Pichai was warned in 2019 that it was problematic to label the company’s incognito browsing mode as “private” in a new jurisdiction.

Google spokesman José Castañeda told Reuters the filing “incorrectly characterizes emails relating to unrelated second and third hand accounts”.

Alphabet Inc’s (GELO) entity’s privacy statements have resulted in regulatory and legal scrutiny over the past few years amid growing public concerns about online surveillance.

Users alleged in a lawsuit last June that Google had illegally tracked their Internet use with the incognito browser in its Chrome browser. Google has stated that it clarifies that Incognito is only preventing data from being stored on a user’s device and is fighting the lawsuit.

In a written preparation update filed in the US District Court on Thursday, the lawyers of the users said they “expect to depose Pichai and Google Chief Marketing Officer Lorraine Twohill.”

The attorneys, citing Google docs, said Pichai was “informed in 2019 as part of a Twohill-sponsored project that Incognito should not be labeled” private “as it” carries the risk of known misunderstandings about protection of incognito mode “. “

The filing went on, “As part of those discussions, Pichai decided that it” didn’t want to put incognito in the spotlight, “and Google proceeded without addressing these known issues.”

Castañeda said the teams “routinely discuss ways to improve the privacy controls built into our services”. Google’s lawyers said they would speak out against the removal of Pichai and Twohill.

Last month, plaintiffs ousted Google Vice President Brian Rakowski, who was described in the file as the “father” of incognito mode. He testified that while Google claims that Incognito can surf “privately”, what users expect “may not match reality,” according to the plaintiffs’ attribution.

Google’s lawyers disapproved of the abstract, writing that Rakowski also said terms like “private,” “anonymous,” and “invisible,” with the right context, were “very helpful” in explaining incognito.

Reporting from Paresh Dave; Editing by David Gregorio

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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