Google has been sued in the United States over claims that it illegally invades the privacy of users by tracking people who are browsing in ‘private mode’.
The class-action lawsuit wants at least $5 billion (Kshs 530 billion) from Google and its holding company, Alphabet.
Boles Schiller Flexner filed the claim yesterday in California and it likely includes “millions” of Google users who since 1st June 2016 browsed the internet in private mode.
“Google cannot continue to engage in the covert and authorized data collection from virtually every American with a computer or phone,” the complaint says. “People everywhere are becoming more aware (and concerned) that their personal communications are being intercepted, collected, recorded, or exploited for gain by technology companies.
According to Google Chrome’s support page, incognito mode is if you do not want Google Chrome to remember your activity. Google claims that Chrome won’t save your browsing history, cookies and site data or information entered in forms.
Google denied the claims. “As we clearly state each time you open a new incognito tab, websites might be able to collect information about your browsing activity,” a Google spokesperson, Jose Castaneda said. Google also said that the collection of search history, even in private viewing mode, helps site owners “better evaluate the performance of their content, products, marketing and more.”
As we know, Google makes a majority of their income from ads. They track you as you browse and serve you relevant ads. All of this information is valuable to advertisers and that is why Google was able to make $98 billion from ads in 2019.