A decide in California dominated Friday that Google has to face a category motion lawsuit that claims the search big secretly collects knowledge from customers even once they’re utilizing its personal “Incognito” mode, Bloomberg reported.

Three customers filed a complaint last June alleging Google has a “pervasive data tracking business,” and its monitoring persists even when customers take steps to guard their personal info, equivalent to utilizing incognito mode in Chrome, or personal searching in Safari and different browsers. The lawsuit seeks a minimum of $5 billion.

Google had sought to have the case thrown out, however US District Decide Lucy Koh wrote in her ruling that the corporate “did not notify users that Google engages in the alleged data collection while the user is in private browsing mode.”

The corporate stated in a court docket submitting that it makes clear to customers “that ‘Incognito’ does not mean ‘invisible,’ and that the user’s activity during that session may be visible to websites they visit, and any third-party analytics or ads services the visited websites use.”

Google spokesperson José Castañeda stated in an electronic mail to The Verge on Saturday that the corporate disputes the lawsuit’s claims “and we will defend ourselves vigorously against them.” He added that Chrome’s Incognito mode provides customers the selection to browse the web with out exercise being saved to their browser or units. “As we clearly state each time you open a new incognito tab, websites might be able to collect information about your browsing activity during your session.”

Google stated earlier this 12 months it’s phasing out third-party tracking cookies, and says it doesn’t plan to replace the cookies with one thing which may be as invasive regardless that it is going to have an effect on the corporate’s promoting enterprise.

Replace March 13th, 4:39PM ET: Provides assertion from Google spokesperson

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