Google Agrees To $5B Settlement In Consumer Privacy Lawsuit Over Alleged Clandestine Tracking

Alphabet Inc. Class C -1.11%
Alphabet Inc. Class A -1.23%

Alphabet Inc. Class C

GOOG

155.72

-1.11%

Alphabet Inc. Class A

GOOGL

154.09

-1.23%

Internet giant Alphabet Inc’s Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) has achieved a preliminary settlement in a legal action that accused the company of clandestinely tracking the online activity of millions of users who believed they were surfing the internet privately.

What Happened: U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers temporarily halted the trial for the proposed class action, originally slated for Feb. 5, Reuters reported. This followed a declaration by attorneys representing both Google and the consumers that a preliminary settlement had been achieved.

Although the lawsuit demanded a minimum of $5 billion, the details of the settlement remain undisclosed. However, the legal representatives noted that they have agreed to a binding term sheet through mediation and anticipate presenting a formal settlement for court approval by Feb. 24, 2024.

Why It Matters: Plaintiffs in the lawsuit, which was filed back in 2020, alleged that Google tracked their online activity even when they utilized Google’s Chrome browser in “Incognito” mode or other browsers in “private” browsing mode. This was supposedly possible due to Google’s analytics, cookies, and apps.

The suit covered “millions” of Google users since June 1, 2016, and sought at least $5,000 in damages per user for violations of federal wire-tapping and California privacy laws.

Image Via Shutterstock


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