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Google to delete hundreds of billions of data collected from Incognito mode

Back in 2020, Google faced a class action lawsuit brought in the US where it was accused of invading people’s privacy by collecting user data even when they were browsing in “private mode”. The suit had sought $5bn in damages. This week, the company agreed to delete billions of records and submit to some restrictions on its power to track users, under the terms of a proposed legal settlement.

In January, shortly after both parties announced intentions to resolve the case, the company updated its disclosures to clarify that it continued to track user data even when users opted for private browsing or used the “Incognito” setting. While this mode offers some increased privacy by not saving browsing activity locally, the company still had access to this data.

During the same month, the company announced a trial feature in Google Chrome that would automatically block third-party cookies, which are used to track user activity. This automatic blocking had already been implemented for Incognito users since the lawsuit was initiated in 2020, and the company agreed to maintain this limitation for five years.

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Early this week, Google also agreed to delete “hundreds of billions” of private browsing data records it had collected, as stated in a court filing. Google’s spokesman, Jorge Castaneda, expressed satisfaction with settling the lawsuit, emphasizing that the company would not be liable for any damages and highlighting their willingness to delete old technical data unrelated to individuals and not used for personalization.

Dennis Mathu
Dennis Mathu
I cover motoring news, gadgets, software releases, mobile apps and enterprise systems powering corporations. Contact me at [email protected] or [email protected]

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