Are you a Google Chrome user? Have you used Chrome built-in Incognito Mode to secretly browse that particular site you don’t want people to know about? Well, you could be part of those who will pocket a whopping $5,000 from Google.
So some groups of lawyers have filed a lawsuit against Google for illegally gathering users’ information during an incognito browsing session. Meaning while you are surfing secretly using that mode, they are watching and gathering information about what you do.
Since this is a class-action lawsuit, anyone who meets the criteria could be eligible to share in the $5 billion payout – provided the lawyers are successful, of course.
How Can I be Eligible
To be eligible, you’ll need to have used Incognito Mode since June 1, 2016. The complaint, which has been filed to the US District Court for the Northern District of California by a partner at the Boies Schiller Flexner law firm, states that it has taken action because of “Google’s unlawful and intentional interception and collection” of confidential communications without users’ consent.
This took place, the complaint continues, “even when those individuals expressly follow Google’s recommendations to prevent the tracking or collection of their personal information and communications.” Whenever you launch a new Incognito window in Google Chrome, the software displays a message that this mode is designed to allow you to “browse privately”. It says other people who use the device will not be able to access your browsing history.
Google is very clear that downloads and bookmarks in Incognito Mode will still be saved – exactly like when browsing in a non-private mode. The search giant states browsing history, cookies, site data, and data inputted into forms will not.
The class-action lawsuit argues that Google does “track and collect consumer browsing history,” as well as other online activity regardless of whether or not someone is using the Incognito Mode built into Chrome, or not.
Although Google makes it clear that websites will still be able to record your visit and activity – as well as employers, schools, and the broadband companies, the complaint claims that Google “accomplishes its surreptitious tracking,” using methods such as Google Analytics, the Google Ad Manager and the Google Sign-In button for websites.
Until the case is over, don’t draw your plans around that money.