A new class-action lawsuit against Google’s parent company, Alphabet, is accusing the company against tracking users in incognito mode. The lawsuit could cost the company at least $5 billion, approx. Ksh 500Bn, says Reuters.
The lawsuit, filed in a San Jose, California based court accuses the company of illegally invading the privacy of millions of users through its deep tracking methods despite using the incognito(private) browsing mode.
It claims that the company uses Google Analytics, Google Ad Manager and other applications to track and collect user data whether it’s on mobile or PC, and independent of whether a user clicks an ad or not.
In response, a Google spokesperson said the company will defend itself against these allegations “vigorously.”
“we clearly state each time you open a new incognito tab, websites might be able to collect information about your browsing activity,” he said.
Despite user misconceptions about using incognito mode, Google usually warns that your internet activity might still be visible to; websites you visit, your employer or school and your internet service provider.
But they do say Chrome doesn’t save; your browsing history, cookies and site data, as well as information, entered in forms.
The lawsuit wants Alphabet to pay each internet user who has used incognito mode from June 1, 2016, at least $5,000 for allegedly violating both federal wiretapping and California privacy laws.
The lawsuit comes at a time when Google has been planning to crack down on websites that treat users who use incognito mode differently. Google was to prevent incognito mode detection starting July 2019, but it was easily bypassed by new scripts rolled by out barely a month later.
But on the whole topic of tracking users in incognito by the company, let’s see how that plays out.