A lawsuit was filed last June 2020 against Google. The details said the tech giant violated privacy and wiretapping laws by continuing to "intercept, track and collect communications" despite people using the private web browser mode "Incognito."
Google is alleged to collect the users' activity and data as they browse through its servers.
With thousands of internet searches run by a second in their search engine, Google Chrome remains one of the strongest internet browsers available. It is also intuitive, creating customized results that best match your specific type of search.
Moreover, it is user-friendly and remains the popular choice since 2010. Lastly, the Google company dominates desktop browser experience and mobile platforms by syncing user identity with their google sign-in accounts.
Google Charged with Complaints, Lawsuits and Privacy Breach
Google, however, is facing a series of complaints and lawsuits. Primarily aimed at their advertising strategy, Google is accused of taking user data and breaching privacy, especially since all this data mining happens without user consent. Google disputed all these claims, emphasizing that every time users open incognito tabs, they are informed through the browser preview that websites might still access and collect information about the user's session browsing activity. Their lawyers quote that "going 'Incognito' does not mean 'invisible.'"
Developers also argued that certain data are prerequisites to ensure the Google platform is running smoothly. Google also said it is not liable to the third-party operations recording user's 'entry' to their websites.
U.S. Court Makes Decision
However, a federal judge denied Google's request for dismissal of the lawsuit. U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, wrote that "the court concludes that Google did not notify users that Google engages in the alleged data collection while the user is in private browsing mode."
The lawsuit, seeking $5 billion in damages, is charged against Google and its parent company, Alphabet.
For what it's worth, according to Benzinga, Google has recently decided to remove third-party cookies and alternate identifiers to track individuals who browse on the web. These regulatory issues affected not only the core search function but also its advertising business. Google has widely dominated advertising by modifying advertisements based on the users' interests analyzed through their search history.
Google's issues had dated even beyond these last few years. In 2013, the Federal Trade Commission had its suspicions but could not file a complaint due to the lack of evidence. In June 2017, Google was charged with €2.42 billion for violating European Commission competition rules. The following year, the EU filed another fine of $5 billion for exploiting its power in the android platform.
As Google continued to rise in power and money, the Justice Department decided to dig deeper into an investigation of Google's privacy breach and later filed the anti-trust lawsuit against the tech giant.
However, the judge concluded that the lawsuit against Google has substance. These recent events have created new awareness on privacy enforcement and curtailed power against the technology companies such as Google.