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Google to remove billions of records from Chrome browser in latest deal| GuyWhoKnowsThings

In recent months, Google has rushed to resolve a backlog of pending lawsuits ahead of major antitrust showdowns with the Justice Department later this year.

On Tuesday, the company resolved its fourth case in four months, agreeing to delete billions of data records it collected on millions of Chrome browser users, according to a legal document. The lawsuit, Chasom Brown, et al. v. Google said the company had misled users by tracking their online activity in Chrome's “Incognito” mode, which they believed would be private.

Since December, Google has spent more than $1 billion to settle lawsuits as it prepares to fight the Justice Department, which has targeted The Google search engine. forks advertising business in a couple of trials.

In December, Google settled a lawsuit with dozens of attorneys general who claimed it had forced app makers to pay high fees. Six weeks later, the company settled a case accusing it of improperly sharing private information about users of its defunct social networking site, Google+. And in March, Google agreed to pay a Massachusetts company, Singular Computing, an undisclosed sum after it was accused of stealing patent designs, a claim Google denies.

To end the incognito claims, Google agreed to “rewrite its disclosures to inform users that Google collects private browsing data,” according to the settlement, which was filed Monday in U.S. District Court. .for the Northern District of California. Users can now see information on the home page when they open incognito mode.

Google has agreed, for the next five years, to maintain an incognito mode change that blocks third-party cookies by default, limiting the number of web users sites can track.

“This requirement ensures additional privacy for Incognito users in the future, while limiting the amount of data Google collects from them,” the plaintiffs' lawyers, led by David Boies, the high-profile attorney, said in the filing. .

Google will also stop using technology that detects when users enable private browsing, so it will no longer be able to track people's choice to use incognito mode. While Google will not pay the plaintiffs as part of the settlement, individuals have the option of suing the company for damages.

A trial was scheduled to begin in early February, although the parties said in December they had agreed to settle.

“We settled because we basically got what we could have gotten if we had gone to trial and won,” Boies said in an interview in February.

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