The Pepperbox

The Student News Site of Arcata High School

The Pepperbox

The Pepperbox

The winner of the 2024 Kinetic Grand Championship: HumBULLdt Pie Factory
Competing for the glory at the annual Kinetic Grand Championship
Ryenne Kile and Taya Holmes June 12, 2024

The 2024 annual Kinetic Race took place over Memorial Day Weekend. It launched on Saturday, May 25 at 12:07 p.m. from the Arcata Plaza and concluded...

Cast of Alice by Heart bowing at the end of closing night
Down the rabbit hole: A review of “Alice by Heart”
Ilana Maclay, Feature editor • June 12, 2024

Lights fade. Drapes open. The audience falls quiet. The Spring musical production of “Alice by Heart” opens with a beautiful image of Alice...

Ethnic studies class postponed yet again
Taya Holmes, Copy Editor • June 12, 2024

California will be the first state to implement a high school graduation requirement for an ethnic studies class. California is requiring that...

Bathrooms vandalised, students suspended
Caterina Morones, Production Manager • June 12, 2024

Admin closed multiple bathrooms until further notice due to accounts of vandalism, vaping, and other disrespectful acts. Principal Ron Perry...

Gary: The man behind the cemetery gate
Andrea Merezko, Social Media Director • June 12, 2024

When one goes to school it isn't plain to the mind what surrounds the school campus. Whether that’s coffee shops or gas stations for snacks...

Does Incognito Actually do Anything?

Judge Lucy H. Koh said,  on the pled facts, a reasonable fact-finder could indeed deem Google’s conduct ‘highly offensive.’…
Joseph Murphy
Student Using Incognito

Normally, if you didn’t want your online activity tracked people would do one of two things: either use a different browser, or use incognito mode. Incognito mode is Google’s solution for private web browsing, promising that Google isn’t tracking you or what you’re viewing/searching.

Around March of last year, Brown et al, an organization of lawyers who are trying to get Google to admit their wrong doings, sued Google in a class action lawsuit over the claim that Google was tracking everything users were doing in incognito mode, as well as claiming that Google’s tracking techniques are an invasion of privacy to the degree of being illegal. Over the past couple years, Google has tried to have the case dismissed in both East Coast circuits and West Coast circuits, in which both were denied.

According to the United States District Court of Northern California ruling in Brown v. Google, Google tried to get the courts to dismiss the case on March 12, 2021. They were denied. 

In the ruling, Judge Lucy H. Koh said,  “Although Google argued that, ‘Tracking cookies are routine,’ the court concluded that, ‘[B]ased on the pled facts, a reasonable fact-finder could indeed deem Google’s conduct ‘highly offensive.’ The Court comes to the same conclusion.’”

As of April this year, the case has been settled, reaching a mutual agreement between Google and Brown et al, the people suing Google. Google did not admit outright that they were breaking any laws or knowingly breaking users’ trust but instead decided to erase billions of dollars worth of collected user data, from upwards of tens of millions of users.

 The data being deleted  was allegedly collected illegally through incognito mode and other forms of tracking, such as location tracking, cookies and search histories while using incognito mode. 

In this case, Google had already lost a lot of trust with its users. Looking back to the Facebook consumer privacy litigation that was passed after Facebook lost a suit about not securely storing user information, this could create an even bigger precedent that these corporations are lying about what they do with it.

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About the Contributor
Jo Murphy
Jo Murphy, Web Editor
Joseph Murphy is a student at Arcata High School and web editor for the AHS Pepperbox. They have no formal writing experience. They do have experience in the field of technology and programming, and plan to write about and/or help the Pepperbox with these areas. They like to read a lot and are very interested in the world of journalism and finding the truth in history, politics, and economics. Their email address is [email protected]
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