Google Reaches Groundbreaking Settlement in Multi-Billion-Dollar Lawsuit Over Controversial Incognito Mode Data Collection

WASHINGTON (AP) — Google has reached a settlement in a multi-billion-dollar lawsuit over alleged data collection by its ‘Incognito mode.’ The company agreed to pay a sum of money to the plaintiffs, who claimed that Google tracked and collected their browsing data even when they were using the private browsing mode.

The lawsuit was originally filed in June 2020 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The plaintiffs alleged that Google had violated federal wiretapping laws and had unjustly enriched itself by collecting data without users’ consent. The lawsuit also claimed that Google’s behavior was particularly concerning because it occurred during a time when privacy concerns were increasing among internet users.

Under the proposed settlement, Google will establish a fund of $13 million to compensate the plaintiffs, who can claim up to $5,000 each, depending on the extent of their damages. The settlement is still pending approval by a federal judge.

In a statement, Google denied any wrongdoing but acknowledged the need to settle the matter. The company claimed that it had always been transparent about its data collection practices and contended that the lawsuit misconstrued the use of cookies, which are commonly used in web browsing.

Privacy advocates have criticized Google for its data collection practices in the past. This settlement, if approved, could serve as a significant precedent for other cases involving the collection of user data without consent.

The dispute over Google’s ‘Incognito mode’ highlights a continued concern over online privacy and the collection of personal information. As internet users become more aware of the ways in which their data is being collected and used, there is a growing demand for stronger privacy protections. This settlement may signal a shift in how companies handle user data and could impact future lawsuits and regulatory actions related to online privacy.

In summary, Google has agreed to settle a lawsuit alleging that it collected user data without consent while they were using the ‘Incognito mode.’ The settlement, which is awaiting approval, would establish a compensation fund of $13 million for the affected parties. This case underscores the ongoing debate surrounding online privacy and the need for stronger safeguards to protect users’ personal information.