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Stanford student explains why Google Incognito mode doesn't really hide your searches

“In the least shocking reveal of all time, it was proven that it’s really not that private.”

incognito mode, google settlement, google incognito

A man using his laptop in Incognito mode.

If you were comfortable thinking there would be no evidence of your online activity while in Google’s Incognito mode, think again. According to a class-action lawsuit filed by Florida resident William Byatt and California residents Chasom Brown and Maria Nguyen, Google has been sharing your searches and selling your data, even while using Incognito mode.

On December 30, NPR reported that Google agreed to settle the $5 billion lawsuit that claims it misled users into believing that their activities weren’t being tracked while in Incognito mode.

Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers pointed out that Google never told its users it continued to collect data even when people were browsing in Incognito mode.


"Google’s motion hinges on the idea that plaintiffs consented to Google collecting their data while they were browsing in private mode,” Rogers ruled. “Because Google never explicitly told users that it does so, the Court cannot find as a matter of law that users explicitly consented to the at-issue data collection."

The settlement terms have not been made public and still need to be approved by a federal judge. The plaintiffs say they will send a final settlement agreement to a judge by February 24.

News of the settlement went viral on TikTok on January 18 thanks to a post by Thunder Keck (@thunder_keck) that has received over 435,000 views. According to his TikTok profile, he’s a Stanford football player who’s also an expert in the Dark Web.

@thunder_keck

google is always watching

“In the least shocking reveal of all time, it was proven that [Ingognito mode is] not that private. They’re still tracking you and selling your data,” Thender Keck revealed. “Incognito mode and private browsing on Safari is basically the same as clearing your history,” he added.

"And most importantly, anyone on your network with a tool like Wireshark can still see everything you're doing, Even if you’re using a VPN,” he warned, “it will still deliver your packets and use fingerprinting to figure out what sites you’re visiting. And that’s getting way easier with AI.”

Wireshark is a network protocol analyzer that allows users to see everything happening on a network at a “microscopic level.”

The post received many comments from people who fear their histories will be made public.

"I’m cooked," schizophrenic idiot wrote. "It’s so over for me," Aton agreed. “I hope my mom doesn't find out," elcee4 added.

After Google reached the settlement agreement, it doesn’t appear the company has changed its policies. Instead, it has changed the warning users receive in Incognito mode.

According to The Verge, here’s the new warning: “Others who use this device won’t see your activity, so you can browse more privately. This won’t change how data is collected by websites you visit and the services they use, including Google. Downloads, bookmarks and reading list items will be saved. Learn more.”

The previous message reads: "Now you can browse privately, and other people who use this device won’t see your activity. However, downloads, bookmarks and reading list items will be saved. Learn more."

Identity

Celebrate International Women's Day with these stunning photos of female leaders changing the world

The portraits, taken by acclaimed photographer Nigel Barker, are part of CARE's "She Leads the World" campaign.

Images provided by CARE

Kadiatu (left), Zainab (right)

True

Women are breaking down barriers every day. They are transforming the world into a more equitable place with every scientific discovery, athletic feat, social justice reform, artistic endeavor, leadership role, and community outreach project.

And while these breakthroughs are happening all the time, International Women’s Day (Mar 8) is when we can all take time to acknowledge the collective progress, and celebrate how “She Leads the World.

This year, CARE, a leading global humanitarian organization dedicated to empowering women and girls, is celebrating International Women’s Day through the power of portraiture. CARE partnered with high-profile photographer Nigel Barker, best known for his work on “America’s Next Top Model,” to capture breathtaking images of seven remarkable women who have prevailed over countless obstacles to become leaders within their communities.

“Mabinty, Isatu, Adama, and Kadiatu represent so many women around the world overcoming incredible obstacles to lead their communities,” said Michelle Nunn, President and CEO of CARE USA.

Barker’s bold portraits, as part of CARE’s “She Leads The World” campaign, not only elevate each woman’s story, but also shine a spotlight on how CARE programs helped them get to where they are today.

About the women:

Mabinty

international womens day, care.org

Mabinty is a businesswoman and a member of a CARE savings circle along with a group of other women. She buys and sells groundnuts, rice, and fuel. She and her husband have created such a successful enterprise that Mabinty volunteers her time as a teacher in the local school. She was the first woman to teach there, prompting a second woman to do so. Her fellow teachers and students look up to Mabinty as the leader and educator she is.

Kadiatu

international womens day, care.org

Kadiatu supports herself through a small business selling food. She also volunteers at a health clinic in the neighboring village where she is a nursing student. She tests for malaria, works with infants, and joins her fellow staff in dancing and singing with the women who visit the clinic. She aspires to become a full-time nurse so she can treat and cure people. Today, she leads by example and with ambition.

Isatu

international womens day, care.org

When Isatu was three months pregnant, her husband left her, seeking his fortune in the gold mines. Now Isatu makes her own way, buying and selling food to support her four children. It is a struggle, but Isatu is determined to be a part of her community and a provider for her kids. A single mother of four is nothing if not a leader.

Zainab

international womens day, care.org

Zainab is the Nurse in Charge at the Maternal Child Health Outpost in her community. She is the only nurse in the surrounding area, and so she is responsible for the pre-natal health of the community’s mothers-to-be and for the safe delivery of their babies. In a country with one of the world’s worst maternal death rates, Zainab has not lost a single mother. The community rallies around Zainab and the work she does. She describes the women who visit the clinic as sisters. That feeling is clearly mutual.

Adama

international womens day, care.org

Adama is something few women are - a kehkeh driver. A kehkeh is a three-wheeled motorcycle taxi, known elsewhere as a tuktuk. Working in the Kissy neighborhood of Freetown, Adama is the primary breadwinner for her family, including her son. She keeps her riders safe in other ways, too, by selling condoms. With HIV threatening to increase its spread, this is a vital service to the community.

Ya Yaebo

international womens day, care.org

“Ya” is a term of respect for older, accomplished women. Ya Yaebo has earned that title as head of her local farmers group. But there is much more than that. She started as a Village Savings and Loan Association member and began putting money into her business. There is the groundnut farm, her team buys and sells rice, and own their own oil processing machine. They even supply seeds to the Ministry of Agriculture. She has used her success to the benefit of people in need in her community and is a vocal advocate for educating girls, not having gone beyond grade seven herself.

On Monday, March 4, CARE will host an exhibition of photography in New York City featuring these portraits, kicking off the multi-day “She Leads the World Campaign.

Learn more, view the portraits, and join CARE’s International Women's Day "She Leads the World" celebration at CARE.org/sheleads.


Health

Over or under? Surprisingly, there actually is a 'correct' way to hang a toilet paper roll.

Let's settle this silly-but-surprisingly-heated debate once and for all.

Elya/Wikimedia Commons

Should you hang the toilet paper roll over or under?


Humans have debated things large and small over the millennia, from the democracy to breastfeeding in public to how often people ought to wash their sheets.

But perhaps the most silly-yet-surprisingly-heated household debate is the one in which we argue over which way to hang the toilet paper roll.

The "over or under" question has plagued marriages and casual acquaintances alike for over 100 years, with both sides convinced they have the soundest reasoning for putting their toilet paper loose end out or loose end under. Some people feel so strongly about right vs. wrong TP hanging that they will even flip the roll over when they go to the bathroom in the homes of strangers.

Contrary to popular belief, it's not merely an inconsequential preference. There is actually a "correct" way to hang toilet paper, according to health experts as well as the man who invented the toilet paper roll in the first place.

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Pop Culture

Olivia Munn’s aggressive breast cancer and double mastectomy is a wakeup call to all women

She’d had a clean mammogram and tested negative for cancer genes just months before she was diagnosed.

Nicole Alexander/Wikimedia Commons

Olivia Munn at the 2018 MTV Movie & TV Awards

Actor Olivia Munn has announced that she's been diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer and has undergone a double mastectomy, and her story is one all women need to read.

The 43-year-old, who has a 2-year-old son with comedian John Mulvaney, shared her experience with photos, video and a written statement shared on Instagram.

"I was diagnosed with breast cancer," she wrote in the post caption. "I hope by sharing this it will help others find comfort, inspiration and support on their own journey."

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Health

Psychologist explains why everyone feels exhausted right now and it makes so much sense

Psychologist Naomi Holdt beautifully explained what's behind the overarching exhaustion people are feeling and it makes perfect sense.

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

It seems like most people are feeling wiped out these days. There's a reason for that.

We're about to wrap up year three of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it's been a weird ride, to say the least. These years have been hard, frustrating, confusing and tragic, and yet we keep on keeping on.

Except the keeping on part isn't quite as simple as it sounds. Despite the fact that COVID-19 is still wreaking havoc, we've sort of collectively decided to move on, come what may. This year has been an experiment in normalcy, but one without a testable hypothesis or clear design. And it's taken a toll. So many people are feeling tired, exhausted, worn thin ("like butter scraped over too much bread," as Bilbo Baggins put it) these days.

But why?

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Representative image From Canva

If this is "distracting," then what are girls supposed to wear? Cloaks?

With as much evidence we have showing how dress codes specifically target women, you would think that finally, in 2024, there would be an end to it. But here we are.

To show how this ridiculous, blatant discrimination continues to rear its ugly head, look no further than a video posted by a mother named Shasty Leah, who received a phone call from her daughter’s school a mere two hours before school day would end…due to her outfit “distracting the boys.”

And just what was Leah’s daughter wearing that was so distracting? A high neck, long sleeve shirt and blue jean-like leggings.

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Categories are great for some things: biology, herbs, and spices, for example.

Image via

But bodies? Well, putting bodies into categories just gets weird. There are around 300 million people in America, but only 12 or so standard sizes for clothing: extra-extra-small through 5x.


That's why designer Mallorie Dunn is onto something with her belief — people have different bodies and sizing isn't catching up.

Dunn has found that the majority of clothing sizes stop at an extra-large, yet the majority of women in America are over that. "And that just doesn't make sense," she says.

All images via Smart Glamor, used with permission.

Human spice rack, only, a LOT more variations of flava. ;)


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Most people imagine depression equals “really sad," and unless you've experienced depression yourself, you might not know it goes so much deeper than that. Depression expresses itself in many different ways, some more obvious than others. While some people have a hard time getting out of bed, others might get to work just fine — it's different for everyone.

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