Google sued for $5bn after tracking people in private mode

In a class action, Google is being sued in the US for £5bn (that’s £4 billion!) over claims that it illegally invades the privacy of users by tracking people, even when they are browsing using Chrome’s incognito mode.

Many internet users presume that their search history isn’t being tracked when they view in private mode, but Google says this isn’t the case. They dispute that this is illegal and say that they are upfront about the data they collect when Chrome is used in this way.

In Google’s Chrome browser, a user can search the internet without their activity being saved to the browser or device. When you enter incognito mode, Chrome is very clear that  it won’t save the browsing history, cookies and site data, or information entered into forms. It is equally clear that any activity might be visible to websites you visit, and your employer, school or ISP depending on how the device is configured and controlled.

This may not be a big issue for most of us, but it does reinforce the message there really is no privacy on the internet. Some applications can make it more difficult to be tracked, and certainly there is a lot you can do in Windows 10 to send less information to Microsoft (click here for more information), but the internet was designed to be open, and is driven by the need to monetise our data for advertising, so perhaps we should not be surprised.