Google is deleting data from more than 136 million users.

Deletion of personal user records said to be in the billions: this is the price Google is paying to settle a lawsuit that alleged internet searches using its Chrome browser were being monitored even when people clicked on ‘Incognito’ mode – meant to enable private browsing.

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More than 136 million of those users will have their data deleted under an agreement reached on 22 September. The fact that Google insisted the lawsuit should be handled individually by users instead of being addressed collectively did not stop the deal – instead, the firm said the agreement reflected its approach to users’ privacy: ‘Incognito mode is used by many consumers to browse the internet privately but occasionally they find some pages are not fully containing Incognito features,’ Justice Brad Hill said.

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