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  • Parv Jain

Google Agrees to a $5 Billion Settlement in Privacy Lawsuit

Google Agrees to a $5 Billion Settlement

Google, which is part of Alphabet Inc., has decided to settle a big court case. This case was about how Google was tracking the online activities of many people who thought they were surfing the internet privately. A judge in Oakland, California, named Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, has paused the trial that was planned for February 5, 2024. She did this because the lawyers for Google and the people suing them said they'd come to an initial agreement to settle the case.

The people suing Google were asking for at least $5 billion. The details of the settlement haven't been shared, but the lawyers said they've agreed on the main points through talks and plan to bring a detailed settlement to the court for approval by February 24, 2024.

Right now, neither Google nor the lawyers for the people suing have said anything about this.

The lawsuit was about how Google, which is part of a bigger company called Alphabet, could still track what people did online. This was happening even when people used Google's Chrome browser in "Incognito" mode or other browsers in "private" browsing mode. The people suing said that Google's tools like analytics, cookies, and apps let them do this tracking.

The people suing Google said that the company was collecting a lot of personal information about them without them knowing. They said Google found out about their friends, what they like to do, their favorite foods, what they buy, and even private things they search for online.

In August, the judge, Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, didn't agree to Google's request to dismiss the lawsuit. She said it wasn't clear if Google had legally promised not to collect data when people used their browsers in private mode. The judge mentioned Google's privacy policy and some of their statements, which seemed to say they wouldn't collect certain types of information.

This lawsuit was started in 2020 and it involved "millions" of Google users who have been using the service since June 1, 2016. Each person in the lawsuit was asking for at least $5,000 because they said Google broke federal wiretapping laws and privacy laws in California.


Q1: What is the recent lawsuit against Google about?

The lawsuit claimed that Google was secretly tracking the online activities of millions of users, even when they were using "Incognito" mode in Chrome or "private" browsing in other browsers.

Q2: Did the judge initially agree to dismiss the lawsuit?

No, in August, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers rejected Google's bid to dismiss the lawsuit.

Q3: How many users were involved in this lawsuit?

The lawsuit covered "millions" of Google users since June 1, 2016.

Q4: What kind of damages were the plaintiffs seeking?

Each plaintiff in the lawsuit was seeking at least $5,000, citing violations of federal wiretapping and California privacy laws.


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