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Yes, Google Still Tracks Incognito Browsing


Google has agreed to delete billions of data records as a resolution to a lawsuit alleging the company improperly tracked the web-browsing activities of users who believed they were browsing privately. The lawsuit, filed in 2020, accused Google of misrepresenting the data it collects from users using the “Incognito” private browsing mode in Chrome. The terms of the settlement were revealed in a filing on Monday, following Google’s agreement to settle the suit late last year.

Billions of Data Records

According to court documents filed on Monday in San Francisco federal court, Google is required to erase “billions of data records” documenting the private browsing activities of users involved in the class action suit as part of the settlement.

Google will additionally revise its disclosure to inform users about the data it gathers whenever a user begins a private browsing session. These changes have already begun implementation by Google.

As part of the settlement, Google will allow users of private browsing to block third-party cookies for the next five years. Furthermore, the company will cease tracking individuals’ decisions to browse the internet privately.

Boies further stated that the settlement mandates Google to delete and address, on an unparalleled level, the data it unlawfully gathered in the past.

José Castañeda, a spokesperson for Google, informed CNN that the company is “happy to resolve this lawsuit, which we have consistently viewed as lacking merit.”

Castañeda also mentioned, “We do not link data with individual users during their use of Incognito mode. We are happy to remove outdated technical data that was never linked to any specific individual and was never utilized for personalization purposes.”