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Google been called out with Fortnite’s release on the Play Store

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You would think Fortnite already had its bases covered with how many platforms the popular battle royale game is available on. The Google Play Store was the one exception, as Epic Games was dealing with a problem and its name is Google.

History isn’t being rewritten here because, from Google’s perspective, Android is one platform it’s been unofficially available since 2018.

Before its Google Play store release, Fortnite players on Android were forced to install the game directly through a process known as sideloading. That has changed since Fortnite‘s release on the Google Play Store in 2020.

With the game’s official release on Android, the Fortnite developer puts everything on the table with how the company truly feels about Google’s policies.

“Google puts software downloadable outside of Google Play at a disadvantage. Through technical and business measures such as scary, repetitive security pop-ups for downloaded and updated software. As well as restrictive manufacturer, carrier agreements and dealings. Google public relations characterizing third-party software sources as malware, and new efforts such as Google Play Protect to outright block software obtained outside the Google Play store,” the developer said in an emailed statement. ”

“We hope that Google will revise its policies and business dealings in the near future so that all developers are free to reach and engage in commerce with customers on Android and in the Play store through open services, including payment services, that can compete on a level playing field.”

Epic Games says it won’t stop operating Fortnite on the Epic Games app and outside of the Google Play Store.

Source From: mobilesyrup.com

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Lawsuit accuses Google of tracking users in Incognito mode – Engadget

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A proposed class action lawsuit filed against Google is accusing the company of violating federal wiretap laws by tracking users’ online activities even when they’re in Incognito mode. The complaint says the tech giant uses tools like Google Analytics, Google Ad Manager, smartphone and PC applications, as well as website plug-ins, to monitor users even if they don’t click on Google-supported ads. It also says that “millions” of users who went online in Chrome’s Incognito mode since June 1st, 2016 have likely been affected.

“Google tracks and collects consumer browsing history and other web activity data no matter what safeguards consumers undertake to protect their data privacy,” the lawsuit reads. The plaintiffs argue that by tracking users’ info when they’re in Incognito, Google has been intentionally deceiving customers into believing that they have control over the information they share with the company. According to Reuters, the lawsuit is seeking $5 billion in damages or at least $5,000 per affected user for violations of federal wiretapping and California privacy laws.

In a statement sent to The New York Times, Google spokesperson Jose Castaneda said that the company strongly disputes the claims and that it will defend itself “vigorously” against them. He also explained:

“Incognito mode in Chrome gives you the choice to browse the internet without your activity being saved to your browser or device. 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.”

Back in 2019, Google rolled out a Chrome update that prevents website from tracking users in Incognito. When activated, it closes a loophole that websites use to identify whether a user is browsing in private or not.

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Google faces US$5b lawsuit in US for tracking 'private' Internet use – The Straits Times

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NEW YORK (REUTERS) – Google was sued on Tuesday (June 2) in a proposed class action accusing the Internet search company of illegally invading the privacy of millions of users by pervasively tracking their Internet use through browsers set in “private” mode.

The lawsuit seeks at least US$5 billion (S$7 billion), accusing the Alphabet Inc unit of surreptitiously collecting information about what people view online and where they browse, despite their using what Google calls Incognito mode.

According to the complaint filed in the federal court in San Jose, California, Google gathers data through Google Analytics, Google Ad Manager and other applications and website plug-ins, including smartphone apps, regardless of whether users click on Google-supported ads.

This helps Google learn about users’ friends, hobbies, favourite foods, shopping habits, and even the “most intimate and potentially embarrassing things” they search for online, the complaint said.

Google “cannot continue to engage in the covert and unauthorised data collection from virtually every American with a computer or phone”, the complaint said.

Mr Jose Castaneda, a Google spokesman, said the Mountain View, California-based company will defend itself vigorously against the claims.

“As we clearly state each time you open a new incognito tab, websites might be able to collect information about your browsing activity,” he said.

While users may view private browsing as a safe haven from watchful eyes, computer security researchers have long raised concern that Google and rivals might augment user profiles by tracking people’s identities across different browsing modes, combining data from private and ordinary Internet surfing.

The complaint said the proposed class likely includes “millions” of Google users who since June 1, 2016 browsed the Internet in “private” mode.

It seeks at least US$5,000 of damages per user for violations of federal wiretapping and California privacy laws.

Boies Schiller & Flexner represents the plaintiffs Mr Chasom Brown, Ms Maria Nguyen and Mr William Byatt.

The case is Brown et al v Google LLC et al, US District Court, Northern District of California, No. 20-03664.

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Google facing $5bn lawsuit for tracking in ‘private’ mode – The Irish Times

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Google surreptitiously amasses billions of bits of information – every day – about internet users even if they opt out of sharing their information, three consumers alleged in a proposed class action lawsuit.

“Google tracks and collects consumer browsing history and other web activity data no matter what safeguards consumers undertake to protect their data privacy,” according to the complaint filed Tuesday in federal court in San Jose, California.

Even as it scoops up information, the search-engine giant assures users – falsely – that they’re in control of what they share with the company, according to the suit, which includes claims for invasion of privacy and violations of federal wiretapping law.

The case was filed by Boies Schiller Flexner, a high-profile litigation firm that previously defended Uber when the ride-hailing company was accused three years ago by Alphabet’s self-driving unit of stealing trade secrets.

Google didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

According to the suit, the company collects information, including IP addresses and browsing histories, whenever users visit web pages or use an app tied to common Google services, such as Google Analytics and Google Ad Manager. This makes “Google ‘one stop shopping’ for any government, private, or criminal actor who wants to undermine individuals’ privacy, security, or freedom,” the consumers allege.

A consumer suit accusing Google of illegally tracking and storing geolocation data with its mobile apps and operating system was thrown out by a California federal judge in December. Arizona’s attorney general filed a similar complaint last month. Google disputed the claim and said it’s looking forward to setting the record straight. – Bloomberg

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