Google commits to deleting browsing data to settle ‘Incognito’ Lawsuit

A class-action lawsuit has been settled by Google, which has agreed to remove millions of records of users' browsing behaviour associated with its Incognito mode.

Google commits to deleting browsing data to settle ‘Incognito’ Lawsuit

Google commits to deleting browsing data to settle 'Incognito' Lawsuit

A class-action lawsuit has been settled by Google, which has agreed to remove millions of records of users’ browsing behaviour associated with its Incognito mode.

Google has consented to remove “billions” of data records related to customers’ private browsing sessions, according to information disclosed in a federal court filing from San Francisco.

In the 2020 lawsuit, Google was accused of collecting data covertly, allegedly without knowledge, from people who used its Chrome web browser in Incognito mode.

Although the plaintiffs had requested $5 billion in damages, Google was not going to pay anything as part of the deal.

As per the filing, 50 individuals have already filed cases against Google in U.S. state courts, intending to pursue damages on their own.

Allegations were made in the class action lawsuit that Google misled users of Chrome about how the browser logged their activities when they were using Incognito mode. 

The lawsuit claimed that customers were not adequately informed by the firm about the types of data being gathered, including information on the websites they visited while using Incognito mode.

Along with updating its disclaimers about the data it gathers while in Incognito mode, Google also promises to allow users to disable third-party cookies while in Incognito mode. 

According to the firm, these modifications are already in the works, and for the next five years at least, it will need to force the banning of third-party cookies to be the default setting in Incognito mode.

Google spokesman Jose Castaneda said the company was pleased to settle the lawsuit, which it always considered meritless.

<

“We never associate data with users when they use Incognito mode,” Castaneda said. “We are happy to delete old technical data that was never associated with an individual and was never used for any form of personalization.”

We earlier reported that a former employee of Google was charged with trying to transfer trade secrets to China after allegedly stealing them from the company’s artificial intelligence (AI) division.