As we live in an era of heavily dependent technology; we are more susceptible to online fraud or theft. Google is one of the largest search engines used worldwide. And if you are an avid user of google chrome, you’re very likely to be familiar with the anonymity tab of Google Chrome know as “INCOGNITO” mode, which allows you to browse privately.
A class-action suit has been filed against Google for invading people’s privacy and tracking the internet even when the browsers are set to “private” mode. the proposed lawsuit, with a hefty amount of $5000.
The suit was filed in the U.S. District court for the Northern District of California, alleges that the tech gaint violated wiretapping and privacy laws.
As chrome has a feature of “Incognito” mode or “private” mode it helps users to browse while their identity remains anonymous. But from the past four years, if you open Incognito in chrome, Google displays a message that states that you can “browse privately” and confirms that other people using the device cannot see your browsing activity. while this message says that downloads and bookmarks will be saved, your browsing history, cookies, site data, and form inputs will not. In simple terms Google tracks and collects consumer browsing history and other web activity data no matter what safeguards consumers undertake to protect their data privacy. This is not a violation of a person’s sensitive information but it also makes him vulnerable online; as his data is out online to be misused.
The proposed class-action suit may include “millions” of google browser users- a potential payout of $5,000 for each affected individual. The lawsuit is seeking at least $5 billion from Google and its parent company, Alphabet Inc.
Jose Castaneda, Google spokesperson assured that the Mountain View, California-based company disputes the claims and plans to defend itself vehemently against the alleged accusation.
Castaneda also said that “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, the website might be able to collect information about your browsing activity during your session”.
According to the complaint, Google gathers data on individuals via Google Analytics, Google Ad Manager, and other applications and website plug-ins, which can include smartphone apps.
The complaint also said that” This data assist Google in learning more about a particular User’s friends, hobbies and shopping habits– and even the ” most intimate and potentially embarrassing things” they search for on the browser. Google ” cannot continue invading the privacy of its users and engage in the covert and unauthorized data collection from cyberspace of every American with a computer or a phone”.