Welp, that's a tad unsettling ...
Google is in some hot water, facing a large class-action lawsuit involving people who are concerned that the tech giant has invaded their privacy.
The proposed lawsuit centers around the company’s "incognito mode" option that allow users to browse the web privately, without Google Chrome tracking their information, and seeks $5 billion in damages. Filed on Tuesday, June 2, in federal court in San Jose, California, it claims that Google collects information through apps like Google Ad Manager, Google Analytics, website plug-ins, and other smartphone apps, even if the user is in incognito mode, whether or not they actually click on Google supported ads.
The users represented in the case raise the issue of Google possibly collecting unauthorized data and information about "friends, hobbies, favorite foods, shopping habits, and even the most intimate and potentially embarrassing things," per the complaint, adding that the company should not be allowed to "continue to engage in the covert and unauthorized data collection from virtually every American with a computer or phone."
The complaint accuses the company of violating federal wiretapping and California privacy laws. It also alleges that millions of Google users since June 1, 2016, have had their data collected while in private browsing mode and asks for a minimum of $5,000 in damages for each affected user.
Google, based in Mountain View, California, plans to defend itself from these claims and gave this statement pending litigation:
“As we clearly state each time you open a new incognito tab, websites might be able to collect information about your browsing activity,” Jose Castaneda, Google spokesman.
Do you trust private and incognito browsing modes while searching online? We want to hear what you think about this issue in the comments.