Google Dragged To Court for Tracking Chrome Data in Incognito Mode

Yes, you read that right. You might be under the impression that your personal data is not being leaked while you are using incognito mode. However, that is not the case if you are using incognito mode on your Google Chrome browser. And this is what the Google lawsuit is all about.

What is Incognito Mode in Google Chrome?

For everyone who doesn’t know what this is, it’s a feature in Chrome that allows users a private browsing option. This feature disables your browsing history in the browser. It means sites like Facebook, Twitter and Google cannot go through your browsing data. Hence, you won’t get display ads based on what you surf on Incognito.

So, this feature allows you to keep your data private without it being shared all over the internet. This feature can benefit anyone who doesn’t want to be tracked and want to make their data public.

What is the Lawsuit?

It’s about how Google collects data and tracks online activity even from browsers in Incognito mode.

The class action lawsuit was filed in June 2020 in the US District court for the Northern District of California. 3 people who were having Google accounts have filed this lawsuit. They’re Chasom Brown, Maria Nguyen who are from Los Angeles and William Byatt who resides in Florida.

The lawsuit alleges Google of using different tracking tools to track users data even while using Incognito mode. These tools allow website publishers and advertisers to know what sites you visit and provide ads as per your surfing data. The people who filed the lawsuit also allege that Google engages in a “pervasive data tracking business.”

Response by Google

Google has outright denied all allegations that have been thrown at them and termed it as “wilful misreading” of its statement on private browsing. They said they will defend themselves of all the allegations at them.

On the other hand, Google had also claimed that their privacy policy that every user has to agree to before starting to use chrome clearly disclosed that it received data of users when they were browsing online. They also claimed all the 3 parties suing them agreed to their privacy policies before using their services.

Google claims that Incognito does not mean invisible. Jose Castaneda, a Google spokesperson said that Incognito mode in chrome provides choice to users to browse the internet without saving your activity on your browser or device. 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.”

Where is this Lawsuit Leading Google to?

With the lawsuit of more than 5 billion dollars, Google will defend themselves till the very end. However, their chances of defending themselves took a big hit when District Judge Lucy Kuh denied Google’s motion to dismiss the class action lawsuit. This lawsuit could be another dent on the image of Google as a top software company that breaches user privacy for their own profits.

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