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Google facing $5 billion lawsuit for tracking private internet use

Christian Fernsby |
Google and its parent company, Alphabet Inc. is facing a lawsuit for allegedly invading millions of users' privacy by tracking their internet use even when browsing in private mode.

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The complaint, filed in the federal court in San Jose, California, seeks at least $5 billion in damages for violations of federal wiretapping and California privacy laws.

Plaintiffs Chasom Brown, Maria Nguyen, and William Byatt claimed that the internet search company tracked their and millions of users' internet use between June 1, 2016 and the present through browsers set in "private browsing mode."

As per the lawsuit, Google collects data through Google Analytics, Google Ad Manager and various other applications and website plug-ins including on mobile devices. Google gets detailed, personal information such as the user's IP address, what they are viewing, and details about the user's hardware, even when they take steps to maintain their privacy, according to it. This is regardless of whether users click on Google supported ads.

The lawsuit said, "Google's practices infringe upon users' privacy; intentionally deceive consumers; give Google and its employees power to learn intimate details about individuals' lives, interests, and internet usage; and make Google "one stop shopping" for any government, private, or criminal actor who wants to undermine individuals' privacy, security, or freedom."

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