The news: Google’s request for summary judgment in a $5 billion lawsuit was denied by federal judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, bringing the class-action suit on privacy in Chrome’s “Incognito mode” closer to trial.
Key details: The people suing Google claim Chrome’s use of analytics, cookies, and tools continued to track internet browsing behavior even when users opted to use Incognito mode. Chrome has 3 billion users globally, per Forbes.
The problem: Plaintiffs provided evidence that Google intermingles regular and private browsing data to fuel personalized advertising. They said that even if the data points are anonymous, aggregating them might help Google identify users with significant accuracy.
Google’s response: “We clearly state each time you open a new Incognito tab, websites might be able to collect information about your browsing activity during your session.”
Key takeaway: While Google can opt to settle the case, it will likely go to trial to avoid having to alter its data collection or change Incognito mode.
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