Google to Delete Chrome Incognito Browsing Data to Settle Lawsuit

Google has agreed to delete data that was collected from customers who used the Chrome browser's Incognito mode, settling a class action lawsuit that started in 2020, reports The Wall Street Journal.

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The lawsuit claimed that Google misled users about the data collected while in Incognito or private browsing mode, tracking their website usage without their knowledge. Google was keeping data that included websites viewed, but the Incognito tab did not make this clear.

Browsing in Incognito mode said that browsing was "private" and that people won't see browsing activity, and while it was stated that websites could still collect data, the warning said nothing about Google's data collection. Google updated the wording of Incognito mode in January 2024 to clarify that Google collects the same data in Incognito mode and standard browsing mode.

Google plans to destroy "billions of data points" that were improperly collected, in addition to updating the wording in Incognito mode and disabling third-party cookies by default when using the feature (Google plans to get rid of cookies entirely later this year). The settlement does not include damages for Chrome users, but individuals do have the option to file their own lawsuits.

A Google spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal that Google does not have an issue with deleting "old technical data" that was not associated with individuals or used for personalization. The agreement still needs final approval from the judge overseeing the case.

Google is wrapping up several smaller lawsuits as it faces off with the U.S. Department of Justice over its search and ad businesses. Google has been accused of making preferential deals that have harmed the search industry and of having too much control over advertising tools. The search battle has been ongoing since last September, while the ad lawsuit will proceed in September 2024.

Tag: Chrome

Top Rated Comments

No5tromo Avatar
3 weeks ago
So Incognito was referring to how Google was collecting user data
Score: 48 Votes (Like | Disagree)
icanhazmac Avatar
3 weeks ago

Google updated the wording ('https://www.theverge.com/2024/1/16/24039883/google-incognito-mode-tracking-lawsuit-notice-change') of Incognito mode in January 2024 to clarify that Google collects the same data in Incognito mode and standard browsing mode.
Keep using Chrome fools.

A Google spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal that Google does not have an issue with deleting "old technical data" that was not associated with individuals or used for personalization.

"old technical data" is Google speak for "already been sold".

Google should be fined the exact amount of made on the sale of any of this data or more.



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Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Lounge vibes 05 Avatar
3 weeks ago
It’s not that I think Apple wouldn’t be doing the same thing if they could, because I’m sure they absolutely would.
But here’s the difference.
If Apple were caught doing something similar to this, it would be reputation destroying. It would lead to months of press and thousands upon thousands of videos, it would be a PR nightmare.
This thread would be 10 pages long in a half hour if Apple were caught doing this.

For Google or Meta? Just another day.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Moriakum Avatar
3 weeks ago

I would rather be a fool than use Safari.
What´s the problem with Safari?
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
t0rqx Avatar
3 weeks ago
Next year: Old Incognito deleted data found on old back-up server. Google says technical issue. Promise to delete.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
breather Avatar
3 weeks ago
Out of Googles total earnings, ads bring in most of it. It’s in the high 90s percentage wise.
How could you ever trust a company whose whole business idea is to collect your data and use it to sell ads?
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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