The Privacy Freefall

As humans, we often get caught up in the volatility of our surroundings. Now, there is more to such a reality than what meets the eye. You see, the said volatility isn’t just about going through some hardships here and there. Instead, it also talks a whole lot to dealing with some devastatingly negative factors that never go away regardless of how much we try to eliminate them. When you are going up against a scenario of this sort, it is actually wise if you stay prepared for certain long-term repercussions, and spoiler alert; they are worse than the initial experience. Hence, in a bid to nullify the triggers affecting us on a holistic level, we have setup dedicated regulatory bodies all over the place. These regulatory bodies have, by all means, done a great job, but their glory remains stained due to many reasons, the most notable one, of course, being technology. With technology offering an unbeatable escape from the supervisory eye, it has posed a serious question on the authority of the assigned regulators. However, as it looks like, the dynamics are finally shifting, and this belief was reinforced big time after we recently heard a judgment involving Google.

The California Federal judge has officially permitted Plaintiffs, who accused Google of unlawfully spying on their incognito mode activities, to question Chief Executive, Sundar Pichai, for upto two hours. It boils down to a lawsuit filed in 2020 that raised some serious questions about Google Chrome’s privacy standards. The focus soon turned to a theory, which stated how Pichai had “unique, personal knowledge” of these issues, thus eventually setting the stage for a final call from US Magistrate Judge, Susan van Keulen.

“A few documents establish that specific relevant information was communicated to, and possibly from, Pichai,” the judge said, while announcing her decision.

Google, on the other hand, has deemed the request of questioning Pichai as “unwarranted and overreaching”. The company is rigorously fighting the lawsuit, with its primary argument revolving around a claim that the incognito mode only stops data from being saved to a user’s device.

“While we strongly dispute the claims in this case, we have cooperated with plaintiffs’ countless requests … We will continue to vigorously defend ourselves,” said Jose Castaneda, Google spokesperson.

The privacy-related questions for Google really started to trickle in during 2019, when Sundar Pichai labeled the feature somewhat “problematic”, and yet no counter measures were taken to remedy the inconsistencies.


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