Google to Face $5B Lawsuit Over Tracking Users in Incognito Mode

Google to Face $5B Lawsuit Over Tracking Users in Incognito Mode

Google Chrome’s incognito mode is at the forefront of a $ 5 billion class-action lawsuit alleging that users are being tracked during private browsing sessions.

The lawsuit alleges that while Chrome is using incognito mode, Google is violating wiretapping and privacy laws for interrupting, tracking, and collecting communications.

Google is trying to dismiss the lawsuit that was filed last June. A federal judge said the trial should proceed.

The judge’s ruling states that Google does not adequately inform users that their data can be collected in incognito mode.

US District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California writes:

“The court concluded that Google did not inform users that Google engaged in alleged data collection while the user was in private browsing mode.”


Continue reading below

To be clear, consumers who have filed a case are collecting data using other services with Google, while in incognito mode.

For example, when a user enters incognito mode in a website, their data can still be collected by Google Analytics.

Consumers who have sued say they were under the impression that Incognito mode includes all privacy from the data tracker.

Google disputed the claims through a statement by company spokesman Jose Castaneda:

He said, ‘We strongly oppose these claims and we will vigorously defend them. Incognito mode in Chrome gives you the option to browse the Internet without saving your activity on your browser or device. As we do every time you open a new incognito tab, websites may be able to explicitly collect information about your browsing activity during your session. “


Continue reading below

Google also notes that the plaintiff agreed with Chrome’s privacy policy that discloses its data collection practices.

How does Google make it clear that users’ data can still be collected in incognito mode? let’s take a look.

Fact Checking Claims Against Google

Consumers filed a class-action lawsuit against Google for collecting data using Incognito mode in the Chrome browser.

The judge hearing the case ordered the trial to proceed on the grounds that Google does not notify users that their data can still be collected while they browse in incognito mode.

Google refutes claims Does Notify users every time they open a secret window, whose data can be collected by websites.

When users activate incognito mode in the Chrome browser, they see here:

The message begins with the statement, “Now you can browse privately …” and then to clarify the user’s browsing activity is private to others who use the same device.

Specifically stated below the message:

“Your rule Still visible For the websites you visit. “

This message also states that users can show their activity to others using incognito mode during school or work.

A user’s Internet service provider can also view their activity.

What exactly does incognito mode do?

Google Chrome’s incognito mode is widely misunderstood.

Some people believe that incognito mode exempts the user from personal search results. This was the focus of a study conducted by DuckDagoo in 2018.

There are others, like the litigants of this lawsuit, who believe that incognito mode provides complete confidentiality.

What exactly does it do?

Incognito mode prevents data from being stored Locally. It hides the browsing activity of the user from other people who can use the same device.


Continue reading below

For example, if you share a computer with roommates, you can use incognito mode to let them see which websites you visit.

To what extent is it designed for incognito mode.

This would be an interesting case to follow, as the plaintiff would have to convince a jury that their claims were valid.

If nothing else, this case may generate more awareness of Incognito Mode and does not.

Source: Bloomberg