A new class-action has been filed against Google for continuing to track users of the Chrome browser even though they were in Incognito Mode. The complaint alleges that unauthorized data collection takes place, contradicting the supposed protections of private browsing.
The lawsuit against Google's parent company Alphabet Inc was filed in the federal court in San Jose, California. It argues that Google Analytics and Ad Manager, among other apps and services, continue to gather data when they shouldn't, whether browsing in Incognito Mode on a mobile device or desktop computer. This violates federal wiretapping and privacy laws, according to the lawsuit. At least $5,000 per person in damages is being sought, with the possibility of millions of users being attached to the complaint.
Google spokesman Joe Castaneda vowed to defend the claims, and said: “As we clearly state each time you open a new incognito tab, websites might be able to collect information about your browsing activity.” As you can see from the screenshot above, Chrome's Incognito Mode home page does warn you that your activity may not be completely private. Whether Google itself continues to collect any data (and what it does with it) will be a question for the courts.