Tim Hull reports:
A federal class action claims that Google’s Toolbar software deceives users into giving the company information about the websites they visit and the information they search for online, potentially “revealing a user’s inquiries about medical, political, religious, cultural, or financial matters.”
The class claims that Google tells its Toolbar users they can keep their searches private by disabling certain features of the software. But “Google’s statements have been incorrect. In reality, the functions that supposedly turned off Toolbar or its transmission features only turned off the display of Toolbar in the user’s browser window. Toolbar itself continued to function in the background, transmitting to Google the address of every web page viewed by the user, along with information that identified the individual user,” according to the complaint.