Google has been sued for allegedly tracking users’ internet searches of browsers set on ‘incognito mode.’
The lawsuit has accused the Alphabet unit of secretly collecting information about what people search online and seeks at least $5 billion in damages.
According to the complaint, filed in the federal court in San Jose, California, Google gathers data through Google marketing tools which include Google Analytics, Google Ad Manager, and other applications and website plug-ins, including smartphone apps.
“The data collection helps Google learn about users’ friends, hobbies, shopping habits, favourite foods, and even the most intimate and potentially embarrassing things they search online,” said the complaint.
“Google cannot continue to engage in the covert and unauthorised data collection from virtually every American with a computer or phone,” the complaint added.
Google’s spokesman, Jose Castaneda said that the company will defend itself against the claims.
“As we clearly state each time you open a new incognito tab, websites might be able to collect information about your browsing activity,” he said.
The complaint seeks at least $5,000 of damages per user for violations of federal wiretapping and California privacy laws.