Google settles lawsuit for $5 billion alleging it used Incognito Mode to spy on users

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Modern technology brings a lot of convenience. Advancements in telecommunication have enabled us to connect in real time from almost limitless distances and at any time. E-commerce has enabled us to purchase from a nearly endless selection of online portals. Technology has also provided us with the ability to learn and study the world around us in ways that were unimaginable centuries ago.

Yes, technology has its advantages. However, as with most things, there is also a dark side to technology that raises concerns and challenges even the most dedicated tech enthusiasts.

One of the dark aspects of technology that lurks in the shadows involves privacy. The emergence of technology has brought a multitude of privacy concerns that rival those in contemporary society. The extensive collection and use of personal data by various entities has become a major concern.

Data mining a more common practice among companies and internet platforms

Companies, governments and internet platforms are increasingly using extensive data mining procedures to extract detailed information about people’s interests, actions, and demographics. The widespread collection of data in modern times raises serious concerns about the potential degradation of individual privacy.

Consumers have long opposed the extensive data collection conducted on a large scale by government organizations and major corporations. With the increasing concerns about privacy while browsing the web, companies like Google have developed browsing software that promises to reduce the amount of data that can be collected from its users. Including Ad Blocker and Incognito Mode.

The feature available to Google Chrome users, called Incognito mode, claims to hide a user’s browsing history from other users of the same device. The feature works by deleting the user’s browsing data after closing the application. Despite using Incognito mode to prevent local data from being stored on the device, it seems that Google still managed to spy on its users.

According to various sources on the web, Google recently agreed to settle a $5 billion lawsuit, alleging that the company used data tracking tools like Google Ad Manager and Google Analytics to spy on its users.

Google sued for spying on browser users while in ‘Incognito mode’

Google allegedly deceived customers by leading them to believe that their online activity would not be tracked when using incognito mode, according to a class-action lawsuit filed in 2020. It was revealed that even when users were supposedly using “private” browsing, Google’s advertising technologies and other methods were still collecting information about their site visits and activity.

Furthermore, the plaintiffs alleged that Google’s actions resulted in an “unaccountable trove of information” about individuals who thought they had taken privacy-protecting measures.

A federal court still needs to approve the settlement, which was reached on Thursday. The lawsuit initially sought $5 billion on behalf of customers, but the terms were not disclosed. The plaintiffs’ attorneys stated that they planned to submit a final settlement agreement to the court by February 24th.

When asked for a statement regarding the settlement, Google did not respond immediately.

How important is privacy to you when using your internet devices? Let us know in the comments!

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