Google has settled a lawsuit regarding consumers’ privacy. The company was accused of monitoring Chrome users’ activities even in incognito mode and giving them a false sense of not being tracked. They were hit with this lawsuit in 2020, and apparently, after failing to get the case dismissed, they settled with the complaint that originally sought $5 million in damages. Neither Google nor the complainants have given any statement to the public, but their terms are settled and will be presented for the court’s approval on February 24, 2024.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs had claimed that Google used its Google Analytics, Ad Manager services, and browser plugins to monitor users’ activity. They also said Google led people to think that they had control over the information they wanted to share. A spokesperson from Google said at that time that the incognito mode does not track the activities of users; it’s the website that collects that information.
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The firm’s internal emails were presented by the lawsuit’s plaintiffs, which showed the conversation between the company’s executives that proves the incognito mode usage was being tracked by them to sell ads and measure the web traffic. The lawsuit had asked for $5,000 per user because of the violation of California privacy laws and federal wiretapping. The claim said that millions of users have possibly been affected since 2016, which justifies the settlement amount of $5 billion. The original complaint also alleged that Google and its employees were given the power to learn the personal details of its users.
A few weeks ago, Google had also requested for the verdict to be given by the judge, but it was refused, and the jury trial was supposed to begin next year. A formal settlement offer will be submitted for the court’s approval, though the figures will not likely reach the original settlement amount of $5 billion. Notably, in August, Google also settled a case over giving access to user search data to third parties for $23 million.