Danish Kapoor
Danish Kapoor

Google will destroy the data it collects in private browsing mode in Chrome

Subscribe to Teknoblog content on Google News:

Google has agreed to destroy or anonymize billions of records of web browsing data it collects when users use the private browsing mode “Incognito” in Chrome. That information was included in a proposed class action settlement filed Monday.

A new era in private browsing in Chrome

Brown v. The proposed settlement in the Google lawsuit would require the company to disclose more about how it collects information in Incognito mode and place limits on future data collection. If approved by a California federal judge, the deal would cover 136 million Google users. The case, filed in 2020, was brought by Google account owners, claiming that the company was illegally monitoring their behavior through the private navigation feature.

According to the court filing unsealed on Monday, the estimated value of the data Google stores and will have to destroy, as well as the data it will be prevented from collecting, is around $5 billion. Google will have to handle data collected in private browsing mode in December 2023 and before. Any data that is not completely deleted must be anonymized.

“The case provides true accountability and transparency from the world's largest data collector and marks an important step toward improving and protecting our right to privacy on the Internet,” the plaintiffs wrote in the proposed settlement filing. he stated.

“We are pleased to resolve this case, one that we have always believed to be without merit,” Google spokesman José Castañeda said. said. Although the plaintiffs valued the proposed settlement at $5 billion, Castañeda stated that they would receive no financial receivables. Although the agreement does not include lump-sum damages, individuals can make claims.

“We never associate data with users when they use Incognito mode,” Castañeda said. he added. “We are happy to delete old technical data that has never been associated with the individual and has not been used for any form of personalization.”

Part of the deal includes changes to how Google discloses the limits of its private browsing services. These changes have already been implemented in Chrome by Google. Google, on the other hand, agreed for five years to allow users to block third-party cookies by default to prevent Google from tracking users on external websites when they are in private browsing mode.

Under the terms of the settlement, individuals may seek relief in California state court. Currently, 50 request files have been received.

Danish Kapoor