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Google Resolves $5 Billion Lawsuit on Consumer Privacy Related to Chrome’s Incognito Mode

Google is reportedly settling a $5 billion lawsuit in which the company is accused of clandestinely tracking Chrome users while they were in incognito mode.

Although the terms of the settlement have not been disclosed, they are expected to be presented to the court for approval by February 24, according to Reuters. The lawsuit, initiated in 2020 and potentially covering millions of users from June 1, 2016, onward, asserts that Google persisted in tracking Chrome users’ data, even when they were using incognito mode, a browser setting designed to offer increased privacy.

Google has indicated that when loading incognito mode, it notifies users that websites may be able to collect information about their browsing activity during the session.



Google Settles $5 Billion Consumer Privacy Suit Over Chrome's Incognito Mode  - CNET
Google Settles $5 Billion Consumer Privacy Suit Over Chrome’s Incognito Mode

The primary purpose of incognito mode is to prevent the saving of personal browsing history on the user’s device. However, plaintiffs claim that Google collected an “unaccountable trove of information,” potentially including embarrassing details, which could be exploited for targeted advertising.

Despite Google’s unsuccessful attempt to have the lawsuit dismissed earlier this year, the plaintiffs are seeking damages of at least $5,000 per user for alleged federal wiretapping and California privacy law violations, according to Reuters.

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