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Judge rules against Google in privacy lawsuit

In a major legal development, U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers has denied Google’s bid to dismiss a lawsuit centered on allegations of covert Internet tracking and privacy violations. The lawsuit claims that Google collected data from users without providing explicit information about their actions, which could infringe on users’ privacy rights.

At the heart of the matter lies in users’ claims that Google’s mechanisms, including cookies, analytics and apps, allowed the company to monitor their online behavior even when they were using privacy modes such as browsing “incognito” or “private”.

The plaintiffs, in a proposed $5 billion class action, argue that this tracking extended to very personal aspects, such as preferences, friendships, purchasing patterns and potentially sensitive Internet searches. This aggregated data has been compared to an expansive repository of personal information, a concept almost beyond the realm of imagination.

Judge Gonzalez Rogers’ 36-page decision emphasizes the presence of a market for user data, citing a Google pilot program that rewarded participants $3 a day for sharing their histories navigation The judge also noted that Google’s privacy policy and statements contribute to the overall context, suggesting limitations on data collection.

Google spokesman Jose Castaneda reiterated the company’s commitment to user choice, saying, “Incognito mode in Chrome gives you the option to browse the Internet without your activity being saved to your browser or device.”

The lawsuit applies to Google users as of June 1, 2016, and seeks at least $5,000 in damages per user for potential violations of California’s federal wiretapping and privacy laws.

This legal decision raises pertinent questions about user consent, transparency in data collection, and the broader implications of technological advances for individual privacy.

This article is sourced from and written by AI.

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