Google Can’t Avoid $5B Lawsuit over Incognito Activity Tracking in Chrome

Incognito Mode iPhone Credit: Wachiwit / Shutterstock
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Google hoped it could throw out a class-action lawsuit involving Chrome browser privacy violations, but that will not happen. A judge recently denied the company’s motion to dismiss this lawsuit, allowing the case to proceed.

Google is in hot water for allegedly violating wiretapping and privacy laws with its Chrome browser and other web-based products.

According to the lawsuit, the company would “intercept, track, and collect communications” even when a user-enabled Incognito mode.

Google allegedly failed to tell users that it was collecting data in this private browsing mode, allowing them to believe their web activity was private.

“The court concludes that Google did not notify users that Google engages in the alleged data collection while the user is in private browsing mode.”

US District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California

Google Chrome is cited in the lawsuit, Google Analytics, Google Ad Manager, website plug-ins, and mobile apps. Google collects data using these tools even when the user has enabled its privacy mode.

The lawsuit, filed in June 2020, requests class-action status and asks for $5 billion in damages from Google and parent company Alphabet.

Google has not publicly responded to the dismissal but said earlier that it disputes these allegations.

The tech giant claims it warns users that websites can still collect information about their browsing activity even when using a private browsing session.

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