Google agreed to destroy browsing data in incognito lawsuit settlement

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Google will destroy data it allegedly collected improperly through the Chrome browser’s incognito mode.

The search giant will destroy the data as part the settlement for a class action lawsuit against the company in the U.S. over Chrome’s incognito mode. The suit accused Google of misleading users about how Chrome tracked users in its private browsing mode, dubbed incognito.

Along with Google promising to destroy billions of data points, the settlement set out actions Google will need to take to change practices around private browsing. This includes updating disclosures about what data it collects in private browsing and giving users the option to disable third-party cookies in incognito mode.

However, the settlement doesn’t include damages for individual users, though it does allow individuals to file claims — the Wall Street Journal reports that plaintiff attorneys have filed 50 individual claims in California’s state court.

David Boies, the attorney representing consumers int eh lawsuit, called the settlement a “historic step in requiring honesty and accountability from dominant technology companies.” Boies also said the requirements for Google to delete data are “in unprecedented scope and scale.”

However, Google spokesperson José Castañeda told the WSJ that the company was happy to delete what he called “old technical data.” Castañeda claimed the data was never associated with an individual are used for any form of personalization.

Notably, the settlement means Google has one less legal case to worry about. It’s also fighting separate lawsuits from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) over alleged monopolization of search and ad-tech markets.

Source: Wall Street Journal

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