Court rejects Google’s bid to dismiss lawsuit

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A U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, has rejected Google’s bid to dismiss a lawsuit claiming it invaded the privacy of millions of people by secretly tracking their internet use, even when they were in “Incognito” mode.

The judge upheld the claims that the tech giant invaded the privacy of countless individuals by surreptitiously monitoring their online activities.

The lawsuit, filed in 2020, alleges that Google uses its analytics, cookies, and apps to track users’ activity even when they are browsing in private. This allows Google to collect data on users’ friends, hobbies, favorite foods, shopping habits, and even “potentially embarrassing things” they seek out online.

The judge found that the plaintiffs had shown that there was a market for their data, citing a Google pilot program that paid users $3 a day for their browsing histories. The judge also pointed to several Google statements, including in its privacy policy, suggesting limits on information it might collect.

Google has disputed the plaintiffs’ claims and said it will defend itself vigorously against the lawsuit. The lawsuit covers Google users since June 1, 2016. It seeks at least $5,000 of damages per user for violations of federal wiretapping and California privacy laws.

The sources for this piece include an article in Reuters.

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