Google CEO was summoned to defend accusations over incognito browsing in the Chrome browser.
A lawsuit was filed in June of 2020 where Alphabet Inc’s Google was accused of tracking users’ activity while in incognito mode. As a result, the chief executive of Google, Sundar Pichai, was summoned to court by the California federal judge.
Google is trying to defend its case, but plaintiffs believe that Pichai has unique personal knowledge of the Chrome browser and its privacy issues. As a result, Google appointed José Castañeda as a spokesperson. However, in his conversation with Reuters, he stated that this new request was “unwarranted and overreaching.”
In the same interview, Castañeda said, “While we strongly dispute the claims, in this case, we have cooperated with plaintiffs’ countless requests … We will continue to vigorously defend ourselves,”
His team warned Pichai that describing the incognito mode as “private” can cause legal issues in the future. He chose to keep it the same, avoiding the feature getting unwanted attention. This was recorded in a court hearing in September
According to U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan van Keulen, explicit and relevant information was communicated to Pichai. On that basis, she believes that the plaintiffs’ lawyers have every right to question him.
In its defense, Google has clearly stated that the incognito mode only prevents data from being stored in the user’s device and has nothing to do with data being sent to and from Google itself.
Future of Alphabet Inc.
Alphabet Inc. has faced severe backlash from the community about its privacy and surveillance practices. In recent years, Google has been met with a barrage of legal and regulatory scrutiny on their privacy disclosure.
The future of Google’s privacy policies is still under the radar. However, as people get the awareness of online privacy, Google could see itself in further complications.