Google to Destroy Browsing Data

Google has agreed to eliminate billions of data records as part of a settlement to resolve accusations that it covertly monitored the online activities of individuals who believed they were browsing in private mode.

The settlement terms, submitted on Monday in a federal court in Oakland, California, are awaiting approval from U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers.

The settlement is valued between $5 billion and $7.8 billion by the plaintiffs’ attorneys, although it does not include damages for the users, who retain the right to pursue individual claims for damages.

This class action lawsuit, initiated in 2020, represents millions of Google users who have engaged in private browsing since June 1, 2016.

The complaint centered on allegations that Google, through its analytics, cookies, and applications, improperly tracked users who had activated the “Incognito” mode on Google’s Chrome browser or similar privacy settings on other browsers.

As part of the agreement, Google committed to revising its disclosures about data collection in private browsing sessions, an update process it has already started. Additionally, Google will allow users in Incognito mode to block third-party cookies for a duration of five years.

According to the plaintiffs’ legal team, this settlement will result in Google collecting less data from private browsing sessions and consequently earning less revenue from such data.

I’ll do some research and will report back to you once I figure out how and if an individual can make a claim for any damages. I have definitely been using google in “private mode”…

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