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  • Google Settles $5 Billion Lawsuit Over Privacy Concerns in Incognito Mode

    Google Settles $5 Billion Lawsuit Over Privacy Concerns in Incognito Mode
  • Njabulo Sandawana
  • Staff Writer
  • Posted Jan 03, 2024
  • Google has reached an agreement in a class-action lawsuit accusing the company of tracking customers' internet activities when they were using Chrome's "incognito" mode. The lawsuit claimed that despite users' expectations of privacy, Google's advertising technology and other means continued to collect data about their browsing behaviour. The settlement, which is still subject to court approval, is a big step forward in the ongoing battle over online privacy.

    Details of the Lawsuit:

    The 2020 class-action lawsuit claimed that Google misled customers by falsely claiming that their internet activities would not be recorded while using incognito mode. It was asserted, however, that Google's monitoring algorithms remained operational, resulting in the acquisition of users' site visits and other browsing-related data. The plaintiffs claimed that Google had amassed a large database of user data, jeopardizing their privacy and breaching their confidence.

    Settlement and Approval Process:

    A federal court must yet approve the settlement, which was struck on Thursday. While the settlement terms were not disclosed, the initial complaint sought $5 billion in damages on behalf of affected consumers. The plaintiffs' lawyers expect to submit the court with a formal settlement agreement by February 24, signaling that a resolution is near.

    Importance of Building Our Own Technology as Africans:

    This case against Google emphasizes the importance of Africans developing their own technological infrastructure. Dependence on foreign tech businesses can expose us to privacy violations and give us little control over our data. We get the opportunity to prioritize user privacy, adjust services to local needs, and defend our digital sovereignty by establishing our own technology solutions.

    The agreement serves as a reminder that privacy issues are not limited to a single platform or organization. Users must exercise caution and be aware that their internet activity may be watched and monitored even while using private browsing modes. It emphasizes the importance of improved user privacy awareness, education, and legislation in the digital age.

    Google's decision to settle a $5 billion privacy lawsuit over its incognito mode emphasizes the growing importance of internet user privacy protection. As Africans, we must construct our own technological infrastructure to secure data security, privacy, and digital sovereignty. This case is a call to action for individuals, corporations, and policymakers to emphasize the creation and use of African technological solutions that meet our specific needs and values.

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