In a move designed to address consumer concerns and settle a long-standing lawsuit, Google has agreed to delete "billions of data points" collected from users browsing incognito, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.

The lawsuit, filed in 2020, alleged that Google continued to collect substantial user data even when Incognito mode, advertised as a privacy-focused browsing experience, was enabled.

This created a significant discrepancy between user perception and reality, as acknowledged by Google's own internal communications.

In a 2019 email, a Google executive wrote, "We are limited in how strongly we can market Incognito because it's not truly private," highlighting the disconnect.

The settlement, filed in federal court on Monday, avoids a potentially costly trial for Google. While it doesn't include financial compensation for individual users, they may pursue such claims separately as it mandates significant changes to Google's data collection practices and user disclosures.

Firstly, Google will delete the aforementioned "billions of data points" collected during incognito browsing.

Additionally, the company will be required to update disclosures about what it collects in private browsing providing a clearer picture of user data collection practices in Incognito mode.

Finally, the settlement empowers users with greater control by allowing them to disable third-party cookies within the Incognito setting.

While Google is understandably relieved to avoid significant financial penalties, the settlement signifies a critical step towards user privacy.

It remains to be seen if individual lawsuits will be pursued, but the court's decision regarding class certification suggests this possibility remains open.

This settlement paves the way for a more transparent and user-centric approach to incognito browsing within Google Chrome.