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Google Fights Lawsuit Accusing Firm Of Collecting Chrome Users’ Data Through Incognito Mode

Google is fighting back against a lawsuit that has been put forward by Chrome users last year. The legal documents allege the search engine giant of making the most of its Incognito mode by collecting user data, without them realizing it.

For this reason, the tech company has urged a judge from the Federal court to intervene and refuse the admission of granting the lawsuit a class action status.

But Chrome users are also not backing down against their allegations as they feel Google’s behavior is in clear violation of the state laws linked to user privacy observed in California.

In the lawsuit filed, the respective Chrome users claim Google failed to properly explain and disclose how the Incognito settings would collect their data in terms of their online browsing activity on the web.

Google was seen arguing about how it wasn’t responsible for the fact that a selected few Chrome users were confused about what Incognito meant as the majority of others were well aware of how some form of data would soon be collected through the secretive mode of browsing online.

In addition to the above statement that was a part of legal papers filed by the company on Friday, the tech giant continued to speak about how there is a huge variability factor in terms of audiences involved and how they comprehend certain internet terminologies and technologies in today’s time.

Google’s surveys have constantly proven over time that users do realize what the incognito mode is, how it functions, and what it is capable of doing. On that basis, these allegations can’t be deemed true.

Google’s Incognito mode allows web users to carry out their browsing activity without having those types of information stored on their smart devices.

Meanwhile, the search engine giant does acknowledge the fact that some users are definitely confused as could be the case with the ones filing the lawsuit. However, the majority are well aware and well-informed of what’s going on. In addition, they claim that users well consented to the behavior as well.

On this basis, the company revealed how awarding such claims as class certification is just not accurate, urging the judge and a respective jury to evaluate on a personal basis if users even understand the full workings of incognito mode or not and if they said yes to their data being collected or not.

This particular dispute in question actually dates back to the year 2020 in June, when a few residents from California and Florida filed a complaint against the company related to incognito mode.

Here is where they alleged how their visits to webpages were analyzed by Google Analytics and its Ad Manager. And that would allow the firm to withhold IP Addresses alongside information linked to devices and browsers.

That data would further go on to be utilized for steps like digital fingerprinting which many call out as uber controversial as it's solely based on data gained from user devices.

Last year, we heard about how the Judge failed to immediately dismiss the case as Google’s justification that it allowed people to consent to the behavior was not strong enough. So it’s going to be interesting to see where the case ends up now.


H/T: Mediapost.

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