Google faces multi-billion dollar lawsuit for monitoring private internet usage

  • Google faces multi-billion dollar lawsuit for monitoring private internet usage

Google faces multi-billion dollar lawsuit for monitoring private internet usage

Google is facing a $5 billion lawsuit in the U.S. over claims that the Search engine giant collected user information even when they surfed the Internet in Incognito Mode or private mode in Chrome browser.

The lawsuit argues that while Google lets users turn off data collection when using its Chrome web browser, other Google tools used by websites themselves scoop up their data anyways.

The proposed class action likely includes "millions" of Google users who since 1 June 2016 browsed the internet in private mode according to law firm Boies Schiller Flexner who filed the claim on Tuesday in federal court in San Jose, California.

In the indictment, it was said, by the information about the browsing habits of users of Google could draw conclusions about friends, Hobbies, favorite food, shopping habits, even the "most intimate and potentially embarrassing things" that they were looking for users online.

Some users believe that their search history is not being tracked when using Incognito Mode, but Google say this is not the case.

However, according to the New York Times, this would be the first time that Google will face a class-action lawsuit allegedly violating the Federal Wiretap Act in the country.

Jose Castaneda, a Google spokesman, said the Mountain View, California-based company will defend itself vigorously against the claims. "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 company spokesperson added. It seeks at least $5,000 of damages per user for violations of California privacy laws. The lawsuit claims that Google intercepts the contents of communication between users and websites by collecting browsing history, specific website addresses, and search queries.

Incognito mode within Google's Chrome browser gives users the choice to search the internet without their activity being saved to the browser or device.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of three people with Google accounts: Chasom Brown and Maria Nguyen, both of Los Angeles, and William Byatt, a Florida resident.