Google, as well as Alphabet Inc., its parent company, is being sued for USD 5 billion in damages as they are accused of illegally tracking the activities of millions of users even when their tracking is off.
It’s said that Google has violated the American anti-wiretapping law and the California privacy law when they were collecting activity data of users who use Google apps for activities like doing searches and reading news.
The lawsuit was filed in a US district court in San Jose last Tuesday, July 14, 2020, by Boies Schiller Flexner. This law firm is representing a couple of affected users acting “on behalf of all other similarly situated,”.
It’s said that the data collection was made through the Google Firebase — a software that works invisibly to the users — that’s responsible for storing app data, sending notifications, and ads.
As per the lawsuit, Google continues to intercept the users’ app usage, browsing communications, and personal information, despite the user following Google’s own instructions on how to disable ‘Web and App Activity’ tracking through the Privacy Controls.
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The lawsuit further states that with this violation, Google can learn the private lives of pretty much “every American with a computer or phone”. That includes the names of their friends, their shopping habits, and possibly any sensitive information that may embarass the users.
This lawsuit is asking Google compensation of USD5 billion (around Php247 Billion). The company is yet to provide a statement as of writing.
The same law firm has previously accused Google of recording Chrome user activities even in incognito mode.