A California federal judge told Google on Friday that the company faces a lawsuit for tracking user activity in Chrome’s incognito mode.
According to a Bloomberg report, the big G had appealed to the court to dismiss the case, but the judge denied the request. Reuters noted that the lawsuit sought at least $ 5 billion in damages from the search giant – nearly $ 5,000 per user.
Last June, three users filed a class action lawsuit against the company alleging that its Chrome browser collects data even if you use private mode (incognito).
They said that after turning off data tracking in the browser, other Google tools used by websites pass your personal information to the company. The petitioners also allege that the company is engaging in a “Pervasive data tracking activity.”
A Google spokesperson said in a statement that the company has made it clear that while Chrome will not save your activity while browsing in incognito mode, the websites you visit may collect some of your information:
We strongly challenge these claims and we will vigorously defend ourselves against them. Incognito mode in Chrome lets you browse the internet without having your activity logged on your browser or device. As we make clear whenever you open a new incognito tab, websites may be able to collect information about your browsing activity during your session.
The development comes as Google is in the process of removing third-party cookies on Chrome by 2022 to reduce tracking of user data.