Reuters reports that a slew of high-profile cases have been Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has filed an additional privacy complaint against Alphabet Inc.’s Google business, claiming that the search engine gathers data on users who assume they may be anonymous if they use a “private browsing” mode.
Deceptive location-tracking techniques that infringe on users’ privacy have been brought against Google by the states of Texas, Indiana, Washington, and the District of Columbia.
Google Incognito mode has been added to the action brought by Mr. Paxton earlier this year. “Incognito mode” or “private browsing” is a web browser option that Mr. Paxton stated suggests that Google would not monitor search history or location activities while using this browser feature
According to the complaint, there is a way to disable Google’s search engine “Viewing extremely personal websites that may suggest, for example, their medical history, political views, or sexual orientation, is an example of this kind of private surfing. Alternatively, they may just be attempting to keep the receiver of a surprise present from being tipped off by a constant stream of targeted advertisements.”
When a user activates Incognito mode, Google “deceptively obtains an assortment of personal data,” according to the claim.
Mr. Paxton’s re-filing with Google was announced on Thursday by the search engine giant “inaccurate and out-of-date representations and assertions about our environment. We’ve always included privacy protections and offered granular control over location data in our products.”
“We vehemently refute these assertions and will fiercely defend ourselves to set the record right,” it said.
Previously, Mr. Paxton claimed that Google deceived customers by continuing to monitor their whereabouts even when they requested to stop.
Users may switch off the “Location History” feature on Google, which notifies them “the areas you travel are no longer kept.”
A court in Arizona refused to dismiss a case filed by the state’s attorney general claiming that Google tricked customers with ambiguous smartphone location monitoring options.