Google could find itself in legal trouble with a fresh lawsuit alleging the company was tracking users who were using its web browser in Incognito mode. The filing suggests Google used tools like Analytics, Ad Manager on both smartphone and PC to track and monitor user activities even if they haven’t clicked on any Google ads. The lawsuits say “millions” of Google Chrome users browsing through the Incognito mode since 1st June, 2016 are likely to have been affected.
The complainant believes Google has been deceiving the use case of Incognito Mode for all these years, telling everyone that all your web activities in the privacy mode will not be tracked. Because of these allegations, the plaintiff is seeking damages up to $5 billion for violation of privacy laws in California, according to Reuters.
“Google tracks and collects consumer browsing history and other web activity data no matter what safeguards consumers undertake to protect their data privacy,” the lawsuit reads.
Defending back on these allegations, Google spokesperson quoted in The New York Times said,”Incognito mode in Chrome gives you the choice to browse the internet without your activity being saved to your browser or device. 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 privacy allegations against Google are serious, and if investigations find legitimate concerns with Google’s monitoring business, chances are it might have to settle for the charges or face further legal scrutiny. The company has been pushed with multiple anti-trust probes in India over the past few months.
Few weeks back, it was accused of using Android’s market superiority to push its payment products app to users, leaving its rival platform at a disadvantage. The company launched Google Pay app for Android and iOS users in 2018 and it competes with Paytm, PhonePe and slew of other mobile wallets in the country.