The legal team at Google have a lot of work on their hands after the company was slapped with a KES 500 billion lawsuit. The tech giant now faces accusation of illegally invading the privacy of its users by tracking people who are browsing in ‘incognito mode’.
If the complainant wins the case Google and its parent company, Alphabet will then have to part with $5 billion (about KES 530 billion) which would be a huge hit on both its finances and reputation.
The claim was filed by American citizen, Boles Schiller Flexner, who is reported to have evidence with “millions” of users who browsed the internet in private mode since 1st June 2016.
“Google cannot continue to engage in the covert and authorized data collection from virtually every American with a computer or phone,” the complaint says. “People everywhere are becoming more aware (and concerned) that their personal communications are being intercepted, collected, recorded, or exploited for gain by technology companies.”
The lawsuit comes months after reports from various sources popped up claiming the same privacy issues to which Google kept denying and promising to fix.
Incognito mode, according to Google, is meant to be used by those who do not want their browsing activity tracked by anyone and that includes Google itself. So, having the company break its own policy is fit enough to be challenged in court.
The accusations from Schiller have been denied by the company stating that individual websites are the real culprits. “As we clearly state each time you open a new incognito tab, websites might be able to collect information about your browsing activity,” a Google spokesperson, Jose Castaneda said.
Google added on that that the collection of search history, even in private viewing mode, helps site owners “better evaluate the performance of their content, products, marketing and more.”