February 22, 2024

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Google settles $5 billion privacy lawsuit over tracking people using 'incognito mode' (NPR)

Google settles $5 billion privacy lawsuit over tracking people using 'incognito mode' (NPR)

Google on December 28 agreed to settle a $5 billion privacy lawsuit alleging that it continued to spy on people using Chrome's “incognito” mode — along with similar “private browsing” modes in other browsers — to track… Their use of the Internet.

Matt Slocum/AP


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Matt Slocum/AP

Google on December 28 agreed to settle a $5 billion privacy lawsuit alleging that it continued to spy on people using Chrome's “incognito” mode — along with similar “private browsing” modes in other browsers — to track… Their use of the Internet.

Matt Slocum/AP

SAN FRANCISCO – Google has agreed to settle a $5 billion privacy lawsuit alleging that it spied on people who used Chrome's “incognito” mode — along with similar “private” modes in other browsers — to track their Internet use.

The class action lawsuit filed in 2020 said Google misled users into believing it would not track their online activities while using incognito mode. It said advertising and other technologies used by Google continued to index details of users' site visits and activities despite their use of supposedly “private” browsing.

Prosecutors also charged that Google's activities resulted in an “unaccountable collection of information” about users who they believed had taken steps to protect their privacy.

The settlement reached Thursday still needs to be approved by a federal judge. Terms were not disclosed, but the lawsuit originally sought $5 billion on behalf of users; Plaintiffs' lawyers said they expect to submit a final settlement agreement to the court by February 24.

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Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the settlement.