Google has agreed to settle a US lawsuit claiming it invaded user privacy by tracking them even when browsing in “private mode”. The class action sought at least $5bn from Google and Alphabet. The US District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers put the trial on hold, stating she could not agree that users consented to Google collecting browsing information.

Google is set to settle a class action alleging unauthorized data collection from users, even when using private browsers, despite being upfront about the collection.

Google has revealed that its search history collection helps site owners evaluate content, products, and marketing performance. Incognito mode allows users to search without activity being saved, but websites can use Google Analytics for tracking usage. Google is also facing lawsuits for its search and digital advertising practices, including a $700m settlement with US states.