Google collects data from Chrome users bypassing privacy settings


A number of Chrome browser users have filed a lawsuit against Google in the US District Court in San Jose, California. The plaintiffs accuse the company of collecting their personal information bypassing the privacy settings that prohibit the synchronization of data from the browser with a Google account.

According to the statement of claim, Google promises not to collect personal information from users of the Chrome browser who have chosen not to synchronize data from the browser with their Google account, but it does so anyway.

"Google deliberately and illegally forces Chrome to record and send it personal information of users, regardless of whether they chose to sync and whether they have a Google account at all," - said in the statement of claim.

The plaintiffs said they have given up using Chrome, but will happily return to Chrome if Google stops tracking "unsynchronized" users.

According to the Google Chrome Privacy Notice, since 2016, users are not required to provide their data to use the browser. In 2019, a clarification was added to the "Note" that personal information stored in Chrome will not be sent to Google unless the user chooses to save it to their Google account by enabling sync.

However, according to the plaintiffs, the company still collects IP addresses associated with the user agent by identifying cookies, unique browser identifiers X-Client Data Headers and browsing history, thereby violating federal wiretapping law and several state laws. Google then associates this information with individuals and their devices through cookie sync. This method involves associating cookies set in a third party context with cookies set in a first-party context.

“While Google promises that Chrome users can shield themselves from surveillance by not providing any personal information for Chrome to run or syncing their data, those promises are not true. Unbeknownst to users, Google has programmed Chrome to be monitored regardless of their actions, ”the lawsuit says.


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