By Tony Winterburn •
Published: 15 Mar 2021 • 21:53
Google launches Workspaces for over three billion users. Image: Wikimedia
Google Facing $5 Billion Lawsuit Over Tracking User Data While Operating Incognito Mode.
Google is facing a class-action lawsuit in the US over how its browser, Google Chrome, handles tracking when users activate the incognito mode. A judge in the States ruled that Google will have to face the lawsuit, which is seeking damages of a whopping $5 (€4.19)billion – around £3.5 (€4.08)billion.
Originally filed in June 2020, the lawsuit alleges that even when incognito mode is activated, Google Chrome still allows websites to collect personal information. The lawsuit states: ‘Google knows who your friends are, what your hobbies are, what you like to eat, what movies you watch, where and when you like to shop, what your favourite vacation destinations are, what your favourite colour is, and even the most intimate and potentially embarrassing things you browse on the internet — regardless of whether you follow Google’s advice to keep your activities ‘private.‘
Google commented: “We strongly dispute these claims and we will defend ourselves vigorously against them. 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 ruling comes as Google and Apple Inc. face intense scrutiny by lawmakers over their data gathering practices. Google has said it will next year eliminate third-party cookies that help advertisers keep tabs on consumers’ web activity and won’t employ alternative methods to track individuals.
This development comes as Google is in the process of scraping third-party cookies on Chrome by 2022 to reduce user data tracking.
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