Google is facing a 5 billion dollars lawsuit (445 billion euros) for tracking browsing history of users in Google’s incognito mode.
The prosecutor accuses Google of collecting browsing history and consumer habits through website plug-ins and advertisements. The lawsuit alleges that Google’s incognito mode gives users the false impression that their Internet usage is not being stored and deliberately misleads them into believing that they are retaining control of their browsing data. According to the lawsuit, Google secretly tracks users using various services such as Google Analytics and Google Ad Manager, even when users do not click on Google ads.
“Google monitors and collects data about consumers’ browser usage and other Internet activities no matter what safeguards consumers undertake to protect their data privacy,” according to the complaint. The lawsuit alleges that Google violates the Federal Wiretap Act, a decree that gives users the right to prosecute companies that intercept their private communications.
The complaint was filed by three Google users in Los Angeles and Florida, seeking damages for “millions of users” of 5.000 dollars (4.456 euros) or three times the actual damage suffered, whichever is greater.
A Google spokesperson declared to the New York Times that the company would contest the charges. “The incognito mode in Chrome gives you a choice to browse the internet without storing your activity in your browser or device. As we clearly indicate each time you open a new incognito tab, websites may collect data about your browsing activity during your session.”
Several studies show that the private browser mode is simply designed to prevent the browser from collecting data locally and not synchronizing with the Google account. It is still possible for websites to track users and store data.