Google is sued in U.S. for tracking users’ ‘private’ internet browsing

FILE PHOTO: A 3D printed Google logo is seen in this illustration taken April 12, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

(Reuters) – Google was sued on Tuesday in a proposed class action accusing the internet search company of illegally invading the privacy of millions of users by tracking their internet use from browsers set in “private” browsing mode.

The lawsuit seeks at least $5 billion, accusing the Alphabet Inc unit of illegally collecting information about what people are viewing online and where they are doing their browsing, through various applications and website plug-ins including Google Analytics and Google Ad Manager.

“Billions of times a day, Google causes computers around the world to report the real-time internet communications of hundreds of millions of people to Google,” according to the complaint filed with the federal court in San Jose, California.

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The lawsuit said the proposed class likely includes “millions” of users, and seeks damages per user of $5,000 or three times actual damages, whichever is greater.

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Matthew Lewis

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