Google accused of tracking user browsing sessions via Chrome's Incognito mode in a $5 billion lawsuit: Report
The complainants are seeking $5,000 for users as a monetary compensation under the violation of the Federal Wiretap Act and California Privacy laws.
June 11, 2020 / 09:37 AM IST
Google has been accused of gathering data during the user’s Incognito mode browsing session without their permission. The $5 billion class-action lawsuit filed against the search engine giant violates two communication laws in the US.
The complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California stated that Google tracked and collected consumer browsing history even if users took steps to maintain their privacy, reported The New York Times.
“Google tracks and collects consumer browsing history and other web activity data no matter what safeguards consumers undertake to protect their data privacy,” the complaint filed by Mark C. Mao, a partner at the law firm Boies Schiller Flexner, reads.
Moneycontrol could not independently verify the report.
The complaint further reads that users had a “reasonable expectation” that their communications would not be intercepted or collected when they were in private browsing mode.
It also stated that Google’s practices “intentionally deceive consumers” into believing that they maintain control of the information shared with the company, further encouraging them to surf the web using Incognito Mode if they want to maintain their privacy.
Google spokesperson Jose Castaneda refuted the claims and said, “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 Incognito tab does mention that the user’s activity might be visible to the websites they visit, their employer or school, or their Internet Service Provider.
Despite the disclaimer, the complainants are seeking $5,000 for users as a monetary compensation under the violation of the Federal Wiretap Act and California Privacy laws.
Recently, Xiaomi was accused of recording, sending data of millions of users
who used the company’s Mi Browser to remote servers. Xiaomi India, in its statement, said that the report is 'absolutely inaccurate’ and the company follows privacy protocols similar to any other leading browser in the world.