• Mon. Apr 22nd, 2024

Google to Destroy or Anonymize Billions of Records in Private Browsing Data Settlement: Brown v. Google Case

BySamantha Nguyen

Apr 2, 2024
Data vanishes while in disguise

A proposed class action settlement has been filed against Google, requiring the company to either destroy or anonymize billions of records of web browsing data collected from users using “Incognito” private browsing mode. This decision comes as part of a lawsuit, Brown v. Google, initiated by Google account holders who alleged that the company was illegally tracking their behavior through the private browsing feature.

If approved by a federal judge in California, the settlement could impact 136 million Google users. The settlement is valued at $5 billion and requires Google to deal with data collected in private browsing mode until December 2023. Any data that is not explicitly deleted must be made anonymous. The plaintiffs in the proposed settlement stated that this agreement signifies real accountability and transparency from the largest data collector in the world, highlighting a crucial step towards improving and upholding privacy rights on the internet.

Google spokesperson José Castañeda expressed that the company is pleased to resolve the lawsuit, which they have deemed baseless. Despite the plaintiffs estimating the settlement value at $5 billion, Castañeda clarified that they will not receive any damages. The settlement does not provide damages to the class, although individuals can file claims. Google reiterated that they do not associate data with users when using Incognito mode and are willing to delete old technical data that has never been tied to an individual or used for personalization.

As part of the settlement, Google has agreed to make changes in how it discloses the limitations of its private browsing services, which the company has already implemented in Chrome. Furthermore, Google will allow users to block third-party cookies by default in Incognito mode for five years, preventing tracking on external sites while in private browsing. Users can still file damages claims in California state court under the settlement terms, with 50 requests already submitted.

The proposed settlement aims to hold Google accountable for collecting user data without their consent and provides a significant step towards protecting privacy rights online

By Samantha Nguyen

As a content writer at newsskio.com, I weave words to craft compelling narratives that captivate readers and bring stories to life. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for storytelling, I strive to create engaging and informative content that resonates with our audience. Whether I'm delving into the latest news trends or exploring unique angles on various topics, my goal is to deliver quality content that informs, entertains, and inspires. Join me on this journey as we uncover the news stories that matter most.

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