Google is Being Sued $5 Billion For Allegedly Tracking People Using "Private Mode" - Newslibre

Google is Being Sued $5 Billion For Allegedly Tracking People Using “Private Mode”

The Google court battles continue as the tech giant has been sued in the US over claims that it illegally invades the privacy of users by tracking people even when they are browsing in “private mode”. The class action wants at least $5bn (£4bn) from the tech giants and the owner Alphabet.

Many internet users assume their search history isn’t being tracked when they view it in private mode, but Google says this isn’t the case as they are able to view the history even when in incognito mode.

According to the complaint filed in the federal court in San Jose, California, the company gathers data through Google Analytics, Google Ads Manager, and other applications and website plug-ins, including smartphone apps, regardless of whether users click on Google-supported ads.

This helps the company learn about users’ friends, hobbies, favorite foods, shopping habits, and even the “most intimate and potentially embarrassing things” they search for online, the complaint said.

The tech giant denies that this is illegal and says it is upfront about the data it collects in this mode. Something that many users are saying is not true.

The proposed class-action likely includes “millions” of Google users who since 1 June 2016 browsed the internet in a private mode according to law firm Boies Schiller Flexner who filed the claim on Tuesday in federal court in San Jose, California

Incognito mode within  Chrome’s browser gives users the choice to search the internet without their activity being saved to the browser or device. But the websites visited can use tools such as Google Analytics to track usage.

Google faces a $5 Billion suit for allegedly tracking users while using “Private Mode” in their browser

Google is Being Sued $5 Billion For Allegedly Tracking People Using "Private Mode" - Newslibre
The accuser says that Google through both the desktop and mobile browser has been tracking users in private mode. (Image Credit: Forbes)

The complaint says that the company “cannot continue to engage in the covert and unauthorized data collection from virtually every American with a computer or phone”. Google spokesman Jose Castaneda has categorically denied the claims saying that: “As we clearly state each time you open a new incognito tab, websites might be able to collect information about your browsing activity”.

The search engine says the collection of search history, even in private viewing mode, helps site owners “better evaluate the performance of their content, products, marketing, and more.”

While private browsing has been available from the browser for some time, Boies Schiller Flexner said it recently decided to represent three plaintiffs based in the US.

“People everywhere are becoming more aware that their personal communications are being intercepted, collected, recorded, or exploited for gain by technology companies they have come to depend on,” it said in the filing.

One option is for visitors to install Google Analytics browser opt-out extension to disable measurement by Google Analytics, it says.

Also read: Vulnerabilities The Android OS Is Exposed To And Ways To Stay Safe

Google is Being Sued $5 Billion For Allegedly Tracking People Using "Private Mode" 1

Author: Moses Echodu

Moses is an avid Sports and Tech enthusiast. He loves to keep up to date with all the latest information and research on some of the most compelling stories.


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