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HomeNewsCyber SecurityGoogle settles $5 billion privacy lawsuit for tracking users in Chrome's Incognito mode

Google settles $5 billion privacy lawsuit for tracking users in Chrome’s Incognito mode

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Google has agreed to settle a lawsuit that accused it of tracking users' online activities even when they were using Chrome's Incognito mode.

Google News

In a case that may signal a shift in how technology giants approach user data and privacy, has agreed to settle a lawsuit accusing it of tracking users' online activities even when they were using Chrome's .

This settlement comes after a failed attempt by Google to get the lawsuit dismissed and could have significant implications for online privacy and the tech industry. The development was first reported by The Washington Post and Reuters.

Filed in 2020, the lawsuit alleged that Google continued to collect data through tools like Analytics, applications, and browser plug-ins, despite users believing they were in a private browsing mode.

The plaintiffs argued that this practice was misleading, making users think they had more control over their personal information than they actually did. At the time, Google responded by stating that while Incognito mode doesn't save a user's activity on their device, third-party websites could still collect information during the session.

The lawsuit, which sought up to $5 billion in damages, presented a challenge to the notion of digital privacy. Internal emails, allegedly from Google executives, were brought forward by the plaintiffs. These emails seemed to suggest that Google was actively monitoring Incognito browser usage to sell ads and track web traffic, raising serious privacy concerns.

The claimants accused Google of violating U.S wire-tapping laws and California privacy statutes, and they sought compensation of up to $5,000 per affected user. Considering the millions of people who have used Incognito mode since 2016, the total sum sought was substantial.

Google's decision to settle, though the specifics of the agreement remain undisclosed, marks a big shift in the ongoing debate over digital privacy and the responsibilities of tech giants. Although the settlement is likely less than the initially sought $5 billion, it represents a significant win for privacy advocates.

This settlement could set a precedent in how user data is handled, especially in private browsing contexts. As of now, Google has not publicly shared details about the settlement and has not provided an official statement.

However, the agreed terms are set to be presented to the court for approval in February, which might shed more light on the specifics of the agreement and its implications for both Google and its users.

With this settlement, Google might be signalling a shift in how it approaches user data, potentially leading to broader changes across the tech industry.

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Tech Observer Desk
Tech Observer Desk
Tech Observer Desk at TechObserver.in is a team of technology reporters led by a senior editor who brings latest updates and developments from the world of technology.
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