June 2, 2020 | 8:50 pm
Google was sued on Tuesday in a class action that accuses the company of illegally invading the privacy of millions of users by widely tracking their use of the internet through browsers configured in “private” mode.
The lawsuit seeks at least $ 5 billion and accuses Alphabet’s unit of gathering information about what people see online and where they browse, despite using what Google calls incognito mode.
The company did not immediately comment.
The lawsuit contends that Google collects data through Google Analytics, Google Ad Manager, and other website apps and plugins, including some for smartphones, regardless of whether users click on Google-compatible ads.
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This helps the company find out details about users’ friends, their hobbies, favorite foods, shopping habits and even the “most intimate and potentially embarrassing things” they search for online, according to the complaint.
(Google) cannot continue to participate in the collection of covert and unauthorized data from virtually all Americans with a computer or phone,
sustains the lawsuit.
While users may view private browsing as a haven, computer security researchers have long expressed concern that Google and its rivals may be able to trace people’s identities in different browsing modes.
The lawsuit would include millions of Google users who, since June 1, 2016, surfed the Internet in “private” mode.