A California judge on Friday ruled that Google should face a lawsuit alleging that the search giant secretly collects data from users, even when using their private “Incognito” mode. Bloomberg report.
Three users lodged a complaint in June last year claims that Google has an “ongoing data tracking business”, and that its tracking continues, even if users take steps to protect their private information, such as using incognito mode in Chrome, or browsing privately in Safari and other browsers. The lawsuit seeks at least $ 5 billion.
Google tried to throw the case away, but U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh wrote in her ruling that the company did not notify users’ users that Google was involved in the alleged data collection while the user was browsing in private. mode is not. ‘
The company said in court that it makes it clear to users’ that ‘Incognito’ does not mean ‘invisible’, and that the user’s activity during the session may be visible to websites they visit, and any analytics or advertising services from third parties. use the visited sites. ”
Google spokesman José Castañeda said in an email to The Verge on Saturday that the company disputed the claims of the lawsuit “and we will defend ourselves strongly against it.” He added that Chrome’s Incognito mode gives users the choice to browse the web without storing activity in their browser or devices. “As we make clear each time you open a new incognito tab, websites may collect information about your browsing activity during your session.”
Google said earlier this year that it was phasing out the third-party tracking cookies and said it did not intend to replace the cookies with something that could be so intrusive, although that would affect the company’s advertising business.
Update March 13, 16:39 ET: Add Google Spokesperson Statement