Google Agrees to Delete Browsing History in Incognito Mode Lawsuit Settlement

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Picture: Matt Slocum, File (AP)

Google will remove the company’s built-in browsing experience for Chrome users who think their data isn’t being collected while they’re using it Incognito modeaccording to a new report from Wall Street Journal Monday. The move is part of an agreement with consumers who filed for the first time in 2020 when it became known that the use. Incognito mode It hasn’t stopped Google from collecting massive amounts of data on someone’s browsing history.

Details of the lawsuit’s ruling were announced in federal court on Monday and will see Google destroy “billions of dollars’ worth of data” on incognito browsing and force the company to “change the data it collects on incognito browsing,” according to Wall. Street Journal. The update will also allow users to disable third-party cookies in the Incognito settings.

Google reached a preliminary settlement in December 2023 that barred the lawsuit, but the settlement must be approved by a judge. Monday’s settlement does not include any payments to individual users, but people may still be able to get their money back in the future.

From the Wall Street Journal:

The court granted class certifications to support the lawsuit but did not award the plaintiffs class damages. This means that affected users may have to file individual lawsuits against Google. On Thursday, a lawsuit on behalf of 50 people filed a privacy violation lawsuit in California state court.

As the Journal reports, internal communications with Google executives indicate that the company was aware of consumers’ perceptions of how “private” browsing did not match reality.

“We’re limited in how we can market Incognito because it’s not private, so it requires vague and offensive language that’s highly offensive,” Google’s chief marketing officer Lorraine Twohill wrote. 2019 email was exhumed during the trial.

Google did not immediately respond to questions submitted Monday afternoon about how much data the company wants to remove from Incognito users. We’ll update this post if we hear back.

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