Google Agrees To Delete Browsing Data Of Incognito Users To Settle Consumer Privacy Lawsuit

Google has agreed to destroy browsing data of users who have used Incognito mode for browsing the internet as part of a settlement in a lawsuit valued at $5-7.8 billion. However, the settlement will not restrain users from filing lawsuits individually. The lawsuit involved Incognito mode, analytics, cookies, apps, and private browsing users.

The lawsuit alleged that Google had been tracking the browsing habits of users in Incognito mode and had collected gargantuan amounts of data, which it has now, as part of the settlement, agreed to destroy.

Google had been secretly tracking the internet use by individuals who thought that they were browsing privately. The terms of the settlement, which was filed on Monday in the Oakland, California federal court, will still require the approval of US District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers.

Lawyers representing the plaintiffs reveal that the accord could be valued anywhere between $5 billion and as high as $7.8 billion. The class-action lawsuit was filed for a period that starts in 2020 and represents millions of Google users who have used the Incognito mode since June 1, 2016. The users believed that they were browsing privately, but in reality, Google’s analytics, cookies, and apps enabled Alphabet to track such users.

The lawsuit also alleged that Google never told the users that it was tracking their browsing habits in Incognito mode. It also did not tell the users what kind of data it was collecting, and this included details about which websites users viewed in Incognito mode.

It was a treasure trove of information and gave Google the ability to learn about friends, favorite foods, hobbies, shopping habits, and also many private and embarrassing tidbits.

The settlement will also require Google to clearly spell out what data it collects when a user is privately browsing. The settlement also allows the Incognito users to block third-party cookies for five years. In other words, Google will collect less data from private browsing and thus will be making less money.

Google has welcomed the settlement and said that it is happy to delete a lot of old technical data, which was never associated with an individual. Google also said that it is implementing these steps and is going to make blocking third-party cookies the default in Incognito mode for at least the next five years.

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Manoj Nair

Manoj Nair: With a decade of news writing across various media platforms, Manoj is a seasoned professional. His dual role as an English teacher underscores his command over communication. He adeptly covers Politics, Technology, Crypto, and more, reflecting a broad and insightful perspective that engages and informs diverse audiences.

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