Monday, May 20, 2024

Google to Delete Billions of User’s Personal Data Collected Via Chrome Browser

Google has agreed to delete billions of data records that reflect the private browsing activities of users.

This decision comes as part of a settlement for a lawsuit that accused the tech giant of improperly tracking users’ web-browsing habits who believed they were browsing the internet privately using Chrome’s ‘Incognito’ mode.

Settlement of the ‘Incognito’ Lawsuit

The lawsuit, originally filed in 2020, alleged that Google misrepresented the kind of data it collects from users who browsed the internet via ‘Incognito’ mode in Chrome.

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Google agreed to settle the suit late last year, and the settlement terms were disclosed in a filing on Monday.

As part of the settlement, Google must delete “billions of data records” that reflect the private browsing activities of users in the class action suit.

In addition to data deletion, Google will update its disclosure to inform users about the data it collects each time a user initiates a private browsing session.

Google has already started implementing these changes.

As part of the settlement, Google will also let private browsing users block third-party cookies for the next five years.

The data deletion is a key milestone in Google’s Privacy Sandbox initiative, which aims to phase out third-party cookies in Chrome by the second half of 2024, subject to addressing any remaining competition concerns from the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority. 

The initiative includes the introduction of Tracking Protection, a new feature that limits cross-site tracking by default restricting website access to third-party cookies.

Impact on User Privacy

The settlement and the Privacy Sandbox initiative represent significant steps towards enhancing user privacy on the web.

Google’s commitment to deleting extensive data and limiting tracking cookies showcases a shift towards a more privacy-conscious browsing experience.

The changes are vital to ensure that Google remains in cooperation with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).

Future of Web Browsing

As Google continues to work on making the web more private, it also provides businesses with tools to succeed online.

The goal is to ensure that high-quality content remains freely accessible while creating a more private web than ever. 

The regulatory environment keeps changing, but Google’s proactive steps to prioritize privacy in company culture and product design are positioning the company for what lies ahead.

Google’s decision to delete billions of users’ data marks a significant development in digital privacy.

With the implementation of the Privacy Sandbox and Tracking Protection, Google is setting a new standard for privacy on the web, balancing innovation with robust data privacy protections.

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Divya is a Senior Journalist at GBhackers covering Cyber Attacks, Threats, Breaches, Vulnerabilities and other happenings in the cyber world.

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