Google sued for $5 billion USD for tracking users in Incognito mode

After years of questionable practices, technology companies begin to face the consequences of their little commitment to user privacy. According to specialists from a GDPR training course, a class action lawsuit against Google was filed this week, arguing that the company has invaded the privacy of its users, tracking its online activity even when users enable the ‘Private Mode’ of the web browser.

Plaintiffs are looking for at least $5 billion USD, arguing that Alphabet Inc‘s subsidiary has collected information about everything people are looking for and the sites they visit regardless of whether this feature, designed to improve users’ privacy experience, is enabled.

The lawsuit was filed in a federal court based in California, and plaintiffs claim that Google collects information through Analytics and Ad Manager tools among other apps and plugins present on websites and mobile apps, GDPR training course experts mentioned.

The information collected would help the company to learn more about users (food preferences, clothing, hobbies and even data related to their most personal searches). “Google should no longer participate in the collection of data from virtually anyone with an unauthorized computer or smartphone,” the lawsuit says. 

In this regard, a Google spokesperson stated that the company will defend itself against the allegations: “Every time users open a tab in private mode, users are informed that websites could collect information about their browsing habits,” he said.

Millions of users rely on private browsing believing that companies will not be able to detect their online activity in this way, although GDPR training course experts claim that Google and any other technology company is able to collect user browsing data even by enabling incognito mode.

Although there is nothing confirmed, it is mentioned that the class action includes “millions” of Google users who since June 1, 2016 have used incognito mode to navigate. Plaintiffs demand $5 billion for damages for the constant breaches of privacy to which they are subject.

The law firm Boies Schiller & Flexner represents plaintiffs Chasom Brown, Maria Nguyen and William Byatt. The case has been registered as ‘Brown et al v Google LLC et al’, in the United States District Court, Northern District of California, No. 20-03664.

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