Google faces class action lawsuit for “collecting personal information in incognito mode”

Chrome’s incognito mode emphasizes that you can view websites without leaving any search history. However, in June 2020, a class action lawsuit was filed in a U.S. district court claiming that Google is collecting personal information while using incognito mode.

Alphabet, the parent company of Google, requested that the lawsuit be dropped, but the court judge dismissed it and reported that it admitted to a class action lawsuit against Google. According to the complaint, other apps and website plugins, such as Google Analytics, Google Ad Manager, and smartphone apps, collect personal information, regardless of whether or not a user clicks on an advertisement provided by Google. Three plaintiffs allege that the act violates U.S. wiretapping laws and California privacy laws.

Google requested the dismissal of the lawsuit because the plaintiff agreed to the privacy policy. Documents submitted to the court do not imply that the incognito is not visible, but state that user behavior during the session may be visible on the website visited or on the third party analytics or advertising services used.

However, federal district court judge Lucico believes that Google has concluded that while the user is in incognito mode, Google has performed the data collection and did not notify the user. The plaintiff’s claim is that the lawsuit is highly likely to result in millions of Google users who have browsed the Internet using incognito mode since June 1, 2016. It is also demanding compensation for damages of $5,000 per person, and the total amount reaches $5 billion. Google is showing an all-out confrontation, saying that it will strongly object to this lawsuit and actively defend it.

As clearly stated, Google said it would continue to track users by making a statement that the website could collect information about the activity they see during the session each time they open a new incognito tab.

Google announced that Chrome will phase out third-party cookies by 2022. Instead, it will test the FLoC technology as a new basis for targeted advertising. However, the main body of Google was criticized by Oracle for the purpose of strengthening its own edge by eliminating competition that could continue to track users as a first party. In other words, even with the complete abolition of third-party cookies, Google’s personal information collection continues to be the same as this one, so there may be a possibility that a class action lawsuit may be filed here. Related information can be found here.



Through the monthly AHC PC and HowPC magazine era, he has watched 'technology age' in online IT media such as ZDNet, electronic newspaper Internet manager, editor of Consumer Journal Ivers, TechHolic publisher, and editor of Venture Square. I am curious about this market that is still full of vitality.

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