Google Faces $5 Billion Lawsuit For Tracking ‘Private’ Internet Use
Google was sued on Tuesday in an advanced class action accusing the internet search corporation of illegally breaching the privacy of millions of users by tracking their internet usage by browsers set in “private” mode.
The lawsuit inquires at least $5 billion, charging the Alphabet Inc unit of covertly collecting data about what people see online and where they search, despite their using what Google terms Incognito mode.
According to the complaint filed within the court in San Jose, California, Google gathers data through Google Analytics, Google Ad Manager, and other applications and website plug-ins, including smartphone apps, no matter whether users click on Google-supported ads.
This serves Google to learn users’ friends, hobbies, favorite foods, shopping habits, and even the “most private and possibly uncomfortable things” they search for online, the accusation stated.
Google “cannot still engage within the furtive and unapproved data collection from virtually every American with a desktop or phone,” the complaint asserted.
Jose Castaneda, a Google spokesperson, said that the company would defend itself firmly toward the cases.
“As we clearly state, whenever you open a replacement incognito tab, websites could be ready to collect information about your browsing activity,” he said.
While users may view private browsing as a secure haven from observant eyes, computer security analysts have significantly raised worries that Google and competitors might augment user profiles by tracking people’s identities over different browsing modes, combining data from private and regular internet surfing.
The complaint said the proposed class likely includes “millions” of Google users who, since June 1, 2016, browsed the web in “private” mode.
It seeks a minimum of $5,000 of damages per user for violations of federal wiretapping and California privacy laws.