After almost four years of legal tussle, Google has reached a preliminary agreement to settle a class action lawsuit brought against them by consumers. The bone of contention revolves around the claim that Google has persistently misled users about their privacy when browsing the internet using the company’s Incognito mode.
As revealed in a joint update communicated to a federal judge in California both Google and the plaintiffs are moving to a settlement.
Significant progress towards settlement was recorded after a mediation process culminated in a “binding term sheet.” The final settlement terms are expected to be presented to Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers of the Northern District of California within the next two months.
We obtained a copy of the joint update for you here.
The decision to settle follows a ruling made last Thursday, which shot down Google’s attempt to omit a wealth of evidence.
The plaintiffs challenged Google’s practices, arguing that the tech titan has been illegally infringing on the privacy rights of millions. They claimed that despite users using Chrome’s Incognito mode, Google utilized cookies, analytics, and other tracking tools in apps to record internet browsing activities.
Judging by Google’s communication about Incognito mode, including declarations made on its Incognito Splash Screen, Chrome’s privacy notice, and the Search & Browse Privately Help page, Gonzalez Rogers noted that a triable issue exists concerning Google’s obligations not to gather users’ private browsing data.
Google chose not to share comments on the preliminary settlement but issued a statement in the aftermath of August’s ruling, reiterating that Chrome’s Incognito mode allows users to browse the internet without recording their activities on their device or browser.
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