• Mon. Apr 15th, 2024

Google to Destroy Billions of Records in Privacy Settlement over ‘Incognito’ Data Collection

BySamantha Jones

Apr 2, 2024
Data vanishes while in disguise

In a proposed class action settlement filed on Monday, Google has agreed to either destroy or anonymize billions of records of web browsing data collected from users using “Incognito” private browsing mode. The settlement, valued at $5 billion in Monday’s filing, requires Google to provide more detailed information on how it collects data in Incognito mode and to limit future data collection. If approved by a federal judge in California, the settlement could impact 136 million Google users.

The lawsuit, Brown v. Google, was initiated by Google account holders who alleged that the company was illegally tracking their behavior through the private browsing feature. The plaintiffs in the proposed settlement stated that this agreement signifies real accountability and transparency from the largest data collector in the world, highlighting a crucial step towards improving and upholding privacy rights on the internet.

A Google spokesperson, José Castañeda, expressed that the company is pleased to resolve the lawsuit, which they have deemed baseless. Despite the plaintiffs estimating the settlement value at $5 billion, Castañeda clarified that they will not receive any damages. The settlement does not provide damages to the class, although individuals can file claims. Google reiterated that they do not associate data with users when using Incognito mode and are willing to delete old technical data that has never been tied to an individual or used for personalization.

As part of the settlement, Google has agreed to make changes in how it discloses the limitations of its private browsing services. Furthermore, Google will allow users to block third-party cookies by default in Incognito mode for five years, preventing tracking on external sites while in private browsing. Users can still file damages claims in California state court under the settlement terms, with 50 requests already submitted.

By Samantha Jones

As a content writer at newsnnk.com, I weave words into captivating stories that inform and engage our readers. With a passion for storytelling and an eye for detail, I strive to deliver high-quality and engaging content that resonates with our audience. From breaking news to thought-provoking features, I am dedicated to providing informative and compelling articles that keep our readers informed and entertained. Join me on this journey as we explore the world through the power of words.

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