Main content

Google redefines irony

Den Howlett Profile picture for user gonzodaddy July 11, 2013
Google reminds us that it offers an 'incognito' option where browsing using Chrome. It has much to lose but is this enough?

google secrecy
I use the Chrome browser and earlier today I needed to clear my bowser history. Imagine my surprise when I saw a message suggesting I might wish to use 'incognito browsing.' It said: "Psst! Incognito mode (Ctrl+Shift+N) may come in handy next time."

The graphic above shows what you see on each blank page when you go into this mode.

The irony of this helpful message is not lost on me, given the ongoing discussion around PRISM and Google's role in surveillance activities by the NSA. Neither is that irony lost on some of my Twitter pals:

Quite. But as analyst Holger Mueller pointed out:

The less than cynical part of me wants to believe that Google is subtly telling us how to avoid 'surveillance by secret agents' but even so, one has to wonder. And I'm not sure that the additional notes Google issues provide much clarity. Especially since the guidance note is dated October, 2012.

It's all a matter of trust. Google has a lot to lose. Will we see this kind of functional option embedded into the Chrome browser as the default option? I would not be surprised. Do I trust Google anymore today than I did yesterday? No. But what do you think? Take the poll and let us know.

[poll id="7"]

Image credit: © Minerva Studio -

A grey colored placeholder image