Google reaches agreement to close million-dollar lawsuit over user privacy – El Sol de México

Alphabet’s Google reached an agreement to settle a lawsuit in which it was accused of secretly tracking the Internet use of millions of people who believed they were browsing privately.

Yvonne González Rogers, district judge in Oakland, California, on Thursday suspended the trial scheduled for February 5, 2024, after lawyers for Google and consumers announced a preliminary agreement.

Terms were not disclosed, but attorneys said they agreed to a binding term sheet through mediation, and expected to submit a formal agreement for court approval on Feb. 24.

Both Google and the plaintiffs’ attorneys did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The plaintiffs alleged that Google analytics, cookies and apps allowed the Alphabet unit to track their activity even when they put Google’s Chrome browser in “incognito” mode and other browsers in “private” browsing mode.

They said that turned Google into an “irresponsible treasure trove of information” by allowing the company to learn about your friends, hobbies, favorite foods, shopping habits and “potentially embarrassing things” you search for online.

In August, Rogers rejected Google’s request to dismiss the lawsuit.

He said it was an open question whether Google had made a legally binding promise not to collect data from users when they browsed in private mode.

The judge cited Google’s privacy policy and other statements by the company that suggested limitations on the information it could collect.

The lawsuit filed in 2020 covered “millions” of Google users since June 1, 2016 and sought at least $5,000 in damages per user for violations of federal wiretapping and privacy laws in California.

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