Google is facing a new wave of legal issues. The latest is a $5–billion lawsuit in the US over claims that the search engine giant collected user information when they surfed the Internet in Google Chrome’s ‘private‘ Incognito Mode.
The class-action lawsuit, filed in US District Court for the Northern District of California, alleged that Google tracked and collected consumer browsing history even if users took steps to maintain their privacy, reports The New York Times.
Google was sued on Tuesday in a proposed class action accusing the internet search company of illegally invading the privacy of millions of users by pervasively tracking their internet use through browsers set in “private” mode through Google Analytics, Google Ad Manager,other applications and website plug-ins, including smartphone apps, regardless of whether users click on Google-supported ads.
This helps them 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.
Google “cannot continue to engage in the covert and unauthorized data collection from virtually every American with a computer or phone,” the complaint said.
Jose Castaneda, a Google spokesman, said the Mountain View, California-based company will defend itself vigorously against the claims.
“Incognito mode in Chrome gives you the choice to browse the internet without your activity being saved to your browser or device. 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 company spokesperson added. Many users think that once they are logged into Internet via Incognito Mode, their search history isn’t being tracked. Incognito mode within Google’s Chrome browser gives users the choice to search the internet without their activity being saved to the browser or device.