tech2 News StaffMar 15, 2021 10:05:05 IST
Google’s motion to dismiss lawsuit accusing the search giant of tracking users, even while they were using incognito mode on Chrome browsers, has been rejected by a federal judge. As per the lawsuit, in some instances, Google Analytics or Google Ad Manager sent “a secrete, separate message to Google’s servers in California.” Google argues users were given enough information about how their activity is tracked in private browsing mode.
Google says that it has already made clear to its users that incognito mode does not mean ‘invisible’, and that their activity while using the mode on the browser may be visible to the websites they visit, and to the third-party analytics and ad services those website use.
“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,” Google spokesman, Jose Castaneda said when the lawsuit was filed last year.
The federal judge says that the lawsuit will continue because Google can not prove that users “expressly consented” to being aware of the tracking on incognito mode.
The lawsuit largely focuses on what Google does to collect and track online activity when users surf the web in private browsing mode. Even when a user surfs in incognito mode, Google uses other tracking tools it provides to website publishers and advertisers to keep tabs on what websites the user visits.
The class action lawsuit was filed in June 2020 in the US District Court for the Northern District of California. 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.