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Google has agreed to resolve a lawsuit regarding its 'Incognito' mode.

Google has agreed to resolve a lawsuit regarding its ‘Incognito’ mode.

Google has recently reached a resolution in a lawsuit concerning consumer privacy. The suit sought a minimum of $5 billion in compensation for claims that Google tracked the information of users who believed they were privately browsing the internet.

The focal point of the legal action was the “incognito mode” feature on Google’s Chrome browser. The plaintiffs claimed that this feature misled users into thinking their online activities were not being monitored by the Silicon Valley technology company.

Internal emails from Google presented in the lawsuit revealed that individuals who used incognito mode were being tracked by the large search and advertising company for the purpose of measuring website traffic and promoting advertisements.

According to a court document, the judge verified that attorneys representing Google have come to a tentative resolution in the class action lawsuit, initially filed in 2020, alleging that “countless individuals” were likely impacted.

The plaintiffs’ legal team was requesting a minimum of $5,000 for every user that the firm’s Google Analytics or Ad Manager services had tracked, even when they were in private browsing mode and not signed into their Google account.

The estimated total would have been $5 billion, but it is expected that the final settlement will be less than that. The initial settlement between the involved parties did not disclose a specific amount.

Google and legal representatives for the consumers did not reply to a request for comment from AFP.

The agreement was reached shortly after Google’s plea for a judge to make a ruling was rejected. A trial by jury was scheduled to commence in the upcoming year.

A legal case was brought to a court in California, accusing Google of violating users’ privacy by deliberately misleading them through the use of the incognito feature.

The initial accusation claimed that Google and its staff had been granted the ability to acquire personal information about people’s lives, interests, and online activities.

“It is stated that Google has become an immeasurable collection of data that is not held responsible, with a level of depth and breadth that surpasses what George Orwell could have imagined,” the statement continued.

A formal agreement is anticipated to be approved by the court on February 24, 2024.

In the United States, class action lawsuits have become the primary method for addressing data privacy concerns against large technology companies. This is due to the absence of a comprehensive law governing the management of personal information.

In August, Google paid $23 million to settle a long-running case over giving third-parties access to user search data.

In 2022, Facebook’s parent company Meta reached a resolution in a comparable lawsuit and agreed to pay $725 million for their handling of user data.