Google has committed to erasing billions of data records that it "secretly collected" from customers who discreetly browsed the internet using the "Incognito" mode. The corporation may have to pay USD5 billion in damages or USD $5,000 for each impacted user as a result of the complaint, which was initially brought in 2020, for breaking both california privacy laws and federal eavesdropping laws. Millions of google users who have utilised private browsing mode since june 1, 2016, are covered by the class-action lawsuit. Because they thought Google's private browsing mode would protect their online secrets, the customers felt duped.

The details of the settlement were submitted to a federal court in Oakland, california on Monday, and US district Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers must now approve them.
A preliminary deal agreed in december 2023 avoided the trial, which was originally planned to take place in February. The specifics of the settlement, nevertheless, were not made public at the time.
Google's analytics, cookies, and applications, according to a Reuters news agency article, "let the Alphabet unit improperly track people who set Google's Chrome browser to 'Incognito' mode and other browsers to 'private' browsing mode," according to the customers, who have the right to sue the company individually.

"They said this turned google into a 'unaccountable trove of information', by letting it learn about their friends, favourite food, hobbies, shopping habits, and the 'most intimate and potentially embarrassing things' they hunt for online," stated the study.
As per the complaint, google is required to disclose the data it gathers from "private" browsing and provide "Incognito" users the ability to automatically block third-party monitoring cookies for the next five years.
David Boies, the plaintiffs' attorney, described the deal as a "historic step in requiring honesty and accountability from dominant technology companies" in a statement to The Wall Street Journal.

A spokesman for google, Jose Castaneda, stated that although the tech company was happy to resolve the lawsuit, it "always" thought it was meritless.
According to Castaneda, "We never associate data with users when they use Incognito mode," the Reuters news agency reported.
"We are happy to delete old technical data that was never associated with an individual and was never used for any form of personalisation."

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