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Google To Destroy Billions Of Browsing Data To Settle Consumer Privacy Lawsuit

Google has agreed to delete billions of private browsing records to settle a privacy lawsuit that began in 2020.
This lawsuit involved millions of users who believed their internet activities were private since June 1, 2016.

The settlement, filed in an Oakland, California federal court, awaits Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers' approval. Although the settlement could be worth between $5 billion and $7.8 billion, affected users won't receive monetary damages but can still pursue individual claims.

The lawsuit accused Google of tracking users in "Incognito" mode on its Chrome browser and other private browsing modes, calling it an "unaccountable information trove" regarding users' private lives.

As part of the settlement, Google will enhance its privacy disclosures and allow users to block third-party cookies in Incognito mode for five years, reducing data collection and Google's revenue from such data.

Google has begun making changes, although it has not commented on the settlement. Despite agreeing to the settlement, Google disagrees with the plaintiffs' claims.

Attorney David Boies hailed the agreement as a significant step towards ensuring transparency and accountability in the tech industry. The settlement, preliminarily reached in December, averts a trial that was set for February 5, 2024. The plaintiffs' attorneys will seek unspecified legal fees from Google.

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