Google settles lawsuit, agrees to destroy billions of data records

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HeadlineGoogle has agreed to destroy billions of data records as part of a settlement to resolve a lawsuit alleging that it secretly tracked the internet use of individuals who believed they were browsing privately. The terms of the settlement were filed on Monday in the Oakland, California federal court, pending approval by U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers.

Although Google will not pay damages under the settlement, lawyers for the plaintiffs estimated the value of the accord to be between $5 billion and $7.8 billion. However, users retain the right to sue the company individually for damages.The lawsuit alleged that Google’s analytics, cookies, and apps allowed it to improperly track individuals who used Google’s Chrome browser in “Incognito” mode or other browsers in “private” browsing mode. This practice was said to have transformed Google into an “unaccountable trove of information.”

Google spokesman Jose Castaneda expressed the company’s satisfaction with the settlement, asserting that Google has always considered the lawsuit meritless. Castaneda emphasized that Google does not associate data with users when they use Incognito mode and stated that the company is committed to deleting old technical data that was never linked to individuals or used for personalization purposes.

Source: Reuters

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