Lawsuit Forces Google to Delete Billions of Web Browsing Data

In a surprising turn of events, Google has agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit filed by millions of users who had been using the ‘anonymous’ internet browsing option since June 1, 2016. The settlement terms were filed in federal court in Oakland, California, and are awaiting approval from Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers. The estimated value of the settlement is between five billion and 7.8 billion dollars.

While Google will not pay compensation, users can seek it through private lawsuits. The lawsuit was filed in 2020 on behalf of users who claimed that Google did not honor their anonymity orders. Prosecutors alleged that Google’s parent company Alphabet had been able to monitor the activity of users who chose the ‘anonymous’ variant of browser operation, including Google’s Chrome.

As part of the settlement, Google has agreed to update the information on the data it collects during private browsing and, in the next five years, will enable users of the ‘anonymous’ browsing option to block data collection from other companies. This agreement is expected to result in Google collecting less data from users’ private browsing and making less money from that data.

Google spokesperson Jose Castaneda expressed satisfaction with the amicable settlement of the lawsuit, even though they considered it unfounded from the start. He stated that they do not associate data with users when they are in incognito mode and will delete old technical data that was not linked to individual users or used for personalization.

By Sophia Gonzalez

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