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California Class Action Seeks More Than $5B In Damages From Google For Allegedly Tracking Data In Incognito Mode

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California Class Action Seeks More Than $5B In Damages From Google For Allegedly Tracking Data In Incognito Mode

A proposed class action lawsuit was filed against Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) (NASDAQ: GOOG) subsidiary Google LLC on Tuesday, alleging privacy violation, Bloomberg reported.

What Happened

The complaint filed in the United States District Court for Northern District of California claims that Google's Chrome browser promises not to collect user browsing data and other identifying information in the so-called "incognito mode," but does it all the same through other websites being opened in the private browsing mode.

"Google accomplishes its surreptitious tracking through means that include: Google Analytics, Google Ad Manager, and various other application and website plug-ins, such as Google applications on mobile devices and the ‘Google Sign-In button' for websites," the lawsuit has alleged.

According to the complaint, Google receives detailed personal information, even in incognito mode, including the user's IP address, the websites being browsed, and details about the user's hardware.

"Google takes the data regardless of whether the user actually clicks on a Google-supported advertisement—or even knows of its existence," the plaintiffs have said.

The complaint says Google's actions are violating both federal and state privacy laws. It is seeking at least $5,000 per user in damages and says the class could include "millions of individuals."

Google Denies Charges

Google spokesperson Jose Castaneda told Bloomberg in a statement that the company makes it clear that "other websites may still collect information" in private browsing sessions.

"We strongly dispute these claims and we will defend ourselves vigorously against them," Castaneda said.

On the homepage of the incognito mode, Google warns that the activity might still be visible to "websites that you visit." "your employer or school." and "your internet service provider."

Price Action

Alphabet Class A shares closed 0.5% higher at $1,442.31 on Tuesday. The shares traded 0.5% lower in the after-hours session at $1,435.01. Class C shares closed $1,439.22 the same day.

 

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