Google sued for $5 billion for tracking in ‘private mode’

Google has agreed to settle a lawsuit in the US alleging that it violated users' privacy by tracking them even when they were browsing in "private mode".

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The class action lawsuit seeks at least $5 billion from Alphabet, the world’s most popular search engine and its parent company.

Big tech firms have faced increasing scrutiny of their practices in the US and other countries.

Lawyers representing Google and its users did not respond to requests for comment.


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U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers put on hold a hearing scheduled for the case in California after the lawyers said they had reached a preliminary agreement.

The terms of the settlement were not disclosed. But Google lawyers are expected to submit a formal settlement for court approval by February 2024.

The search engine said the collection of search history, even in private viewing mode, helps site owners “better evaluate the performance of their content, products, marketing and more.”

Incognito mode in Google’s Chrome browser gives users the option to search the web without their activity being saved to the browser or device.

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However, visited websites can use tools such as Google Analytics to track usage.

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