A US judge has ruled that Google must face a lawsuit alleging that it tracks its users, even when they use Incognito mode in the Chrome browser.

The browsing mode claims to offer users the ability to use the internet without Google collecting search history, cookies and other website data. It does however state that web activity may still be visible to “websites that you visit, your employer or school” and “your internet service provider”.

A $5 billion class action lawsuit filed last June claimed that Google is a “pervasive data tracking business” despite privacy features, however the technology giant attempted to have the case thrown out.

The complaint alleged that Google gathers data through Google Analytics and other applications and plug-ins, regardless of the browsing mode used.

Information gathered includes the “most intimate and potentially embarrassing things”, the complaint states, and is collected from “virtually every American with a computer or phone”.