Google is facing a class-action lawsuit that claims that the company collects data from users even when the users are in private mode or “Incognito” mode. Three users have filed a lawsuit alleging Google has a “pervasive data tracking business” and they are seeking at least $5 billion.
The search engine giant tried to have the case thrown out but the US District Court Jude Lucy Koh didn’t agree and said that the company “did not notify users that Google engages in the alleged data collection while the user is in private browsing mode.”
In its court filing, Google said that the company makes it clear that using Incognito does not mean invisible and that the user’s activities may be visible to websites they visit or any third-party services the website uses. The company said:
“We strongly dispute these claims and we will defend ourselves vigorously against them. 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 development comes just weeks after Google announced that it removing the third-party tracking cookies and added that the company doesn’t have any plans to replace the cookies with something else even if it affects the advertisement business.