Google will face lawsuit over Incognito mode tracking

Google will face lawsuit over Incognito mode tracking


16 March 2021

Court of California has ruled that the lawsuit against Google should proceed, which claims that the colossus search engine secretly collects users' data, even when they use the Internet through the  Incognito / Private modes of various web browsers.

The lawsuit was filed by three users last June and the indictment states that Google maintains a highly "intrusive data surveillance operation" that persists even when users take action to protect their privacy, such as the use Incognito Mode in Chrome and Private Modes in other browsers (Safari, Firefox, etc.). The plaintiffs claim compensation of at least $5 billion.

Google tried to shoot down the case before its trial, but Judge Lucy Koh considered that the company did not make it clear to the user that it was actively involved in the alleged data collection when the browser was in private mode. Google's request to the court states that users are notified in an anonymous browsing mode that they are not invisible and that their activity can be recorded by the sites they visit, but also by third party statistics or advertising services used by those sites.

As stated by the representative of Google, Mr. Jose Castaneda, the company completely denies the accusation and will give vigorous battle to defend its position. Mr. Castaneda also emphasizes that Incognito Mode offers the user the ability to browse without recording his activity in the web browser history or on his device, while every time a new tab opens in Incognito Mode user is informed from the beginning that his activity may be recorded by some websites.

In addition, Google announced a few days ago that will radically change the way of recording user activity, eliminating the third-party tracking cookies, despite the advertising model would be significantly affected.

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