The search giant Google faces a class-action lawsuit that accuses of invading people’s privacy and tracking their internet use even when browsers are set to “private” mode.
This, not the first time Google is accused of tracking users in incognito mode, and it’s now facing a fresh lawsuit in San Jose, California.
According to the complaint filed on Tuesday in the District Court of Northern California, Google tracks and gathers consumer browsing history and other web activity data no matter what safeguards consumers undertake to protect their data privacy. The search giant is collecting users browsing data through Google Analytics, Google Ad Manager, and other applications and website plug-ins, including smartphone apps.
This helps Google to learn more about users’ friends, hobbies, favorite foods, shopping habits, and even the “most intimate and potentially embarrassing things” they search for online and Google “cannot continue to engage in the covert and unauthorized data collection from virtually every American with a computer or phone,” the complaint said.
Google spokesperson Jose Castaneda said in a statement that the company disputes the claims and plans to defend itself vigorously against them
“As we clearly state each time you open a new Incognito tab, websites might be able to collect information about your browsing activity,” he said.
The lawsuit seeks at least $5 billion from Google and its parent company, Alphabet, because, as per the complaint, the proposed class may include “millions” of Google users and is looking for damages of at least $5,000 for each individual.