Google Tracking Users In Incognito Mode; $5 Billion Lawsuit Filed


Google has been a mining spot for user data. However, with the incognito mode, users and their browsing details aren't tracked or traced. Or at least, that's what Google asks us to believe. Well, a new lawsuit against the search giant claims otherwise. Google has reportedly been tracking users and their browsing data even in incognito mode.

Google Tracking Users In Incognito Mode; $5 Billion Lawsuit Filed


Going into the details, a US judge has ruled a lawsuit against Google, alleging that it tracks users when in incognito mode in the Chrome browser. The class-action lawsuit that was filed in June 2020 for USD 5 billion claims Google is a "pervasive data tracking business" despite privacy features.

Google, on the other hand, has attempted to have the case thrown out. The latest update comes from US District Judge Lucy Koh, who ruled that Google must face the lawsuit. The judge stated that Google "did not notify users that Google engages in the alleged data collection while the user is in private browsing mode."

Google Tracking Users In Incognito Mode; $5 Billion Lawsuit Filed

Google Lawsuit Over Data Tracking

The latest lawsuit joins the list of several ones filed against Google over debates of privacy and data management. To note, Google Chrome's incognito mode claims to offer internet service without collecting the search history, cookies, and other such website data.

That said, the Google incognito mode also states the activity might be visible to "websites that you visit, your employer or school" and "your internet service provider". This is where the lawsuit comes into the picture. The complaint alleged notes that Google Analytics and other applications and plug-ins still gather data from users, regardless of the browsing mode used.

Google Tracking Users In Incognito Mode; $5 Billion Lawsuit Filed


Here, the complaint suggests the information gathered includes the "most intimate and potentially embarrassing things" and is collected from "virtually every American with a computer or phone". Furthermore, the lawsuit seeks at least USD 5,000 of damages per user, citing federal wire tapping the California privacy laws.

Google Responds To Data Tracking

A Google spokesperson has responded to the lawsuit, stating it would defend itself against the claims. "As we clearly state each time you open a new Incognito tab, websites might be able to collect information about your browsing activity during your session," the spokesperson said in a statement to the media.

Google Tracking Users In Incognito Mode; $5 Billion Lawsuit Filed

Looking back, Google made a surprising announcement earlier this month. The internet search giant said it would stop using browsing history to target ads. Furthermore, it also announced it would stop developing new ways to track users across the internet on its Chrome browser.

"People shouldn't have to accept being tracked across the web in order to get the benefits of relevant advertising. And advertisers don't need to track individual consumers across the web to get the performance benefits of digital advertising," Google's updated blog post read when it announced the new changes.

Google's David Temkin, the director of product management for ads privacy and trust further stated it explicitly that once third-party cookies are phased out, Google wouldn't build alternate identifiers to track individuals as they browse the web, nor would it use them in products.


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