Google faces $5 billion lawsuit for tracking users' online activity despite use of "incognito mode"

by Laura Mize · Jun 9th, 2020 1:01 pm

Google has been sued for $5 billion for tracking the online activity of users, including those who believe their history is not being saved at all because they are using what the company has labeled "incognito mode."

The class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of three people in California cites the Federal Wiretap Act. Under the act, interception of private conversations can be grounds for a lawsuit.

The lawsuit says collecting users' browsing activity effectively intercepts correspondence between users and the websites they visit. It also holds that Google deceives users into thinking they have control over what data about their online activity the company can access.

"Google tracks and collects consumer browsing history and other web activity data no matter what safeguards consumers undertake to protect their data privacy," said the complaint.

Google denied the claims.

"Incognito mode in Chrome gives you the choice to browse the internet without your activity being saved to your browser or device," Google spokesman Jose Castaneda told The New York Times. "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 lawsuit seeks $5 billion in damages.


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