WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Google is faced with a $5 billion lawsuit on Tuesday for illegally tracking information from users who browse through “private” mode.
- The complaint states that Google “cannot continue to engage in the covert and unauthorized data collection from virtually every American with a computer or phone.”
- Computer security researchers have ever since warned that Google and other tech companies could build user profiles through tracking of both private and public surfing activities.
Internet Company Google was charged with a $5 billion lawsuit on Tuesday for illegal tracking of information on internet users who browse the internet in “private” or also commonly known as Incognito mode.
The complaint, filed at the federal court in San Jose, California, accuses the online company giant of invading the privacy of millions of users despite browsing through the Incognito mode.
The case states that through Google Analytics, Google Ad Manager, and other applications and website plug-ins, including smartphone apps, the company is collecting data regardless if browsers click on Google ads.
The complaint said that users’ demographic and psychographic profiles, such as friends, hobbies, favorite foods, shopping habits, and even the “most intimate and potentially embarrassing things,” are among the data illicitly gathered by Google.
The complaint added that Google “cannot continue to engage in the covert and unauthorized data collection from virtually every American with a computer or phone.”
Google Spokesperson Jose Castaneda said that the company will defend its case versus the complaints.
“As we clearly state each time you open a new incognito tab, websites might be able to collect information about your browsing activity,” Castaneda said.
Likely “millions” of Google users who browsed the internet in Incognito mode since June 1, 2016 are included in the class-action lawsuit, the complaint said.
It also pursues at least $5,000 of damages per user for violations of federal wiretapping and California privacy laws.
Computer security researchers have ever since warned that Google and other tech companies could build user profiles through tracking of private and usual surfing browser utilized by every user. Plaintiffs Chasom Brown, Maria Nguyen and William Byatt are represented by Boies Schiller and Flexner.