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Google Email Privacy Lawsuit
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Google Inc. is accused of improperly and illegally scanning their customer’s private email. In California, the Huffington Post has reported that a total of nine plaintiffs are accusing Google of violating federal and state law. They want to turn the case into a class action and are seeking financial compensation for millions of Gmail users, as well as better disclosure by Google of its practices.

According to Bloomberg News, legal experts like Deborah Hensler, a Stanford Law School Professor reported that, before the ruling the case stood to potentially become the largest group lawsuit ever. U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh refused to let the case proceed as a class action.


E-mail users claimed Google intercepted, read and mined the content of e-mail messages for targeted advertising and to build user profiles. Reuters reported that according to court documents, the plaintiffs say Google violated several laws, including federal anti-wiretapping statutes by systematically crossing the “creepy line” to read private email messages in order to profit.

The New York Times reported that a law suit regarding Google’s e-mail practices was first brought against the company in 2010 by a Texas resident, Keith Dunbar, a Gmail user. Dunbar alleged that Google was violating the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986, legislation that updated what has been known as the Wiretap Act in order to protect e-mail communications.

Each person was eligible for damages of $100 a day for violations of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. Google Inc. still faces another privacy case in federal court in San Francisco brought on behalf of everyone in the U.S. whose wireless Internet connections were intercepted by company vehicles gathering information for the Street View mapping service.

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A lawyer representing plaintiffs in the Gmail case, Sean Rommel, did not respond to e-mail messages seeking a response to the ruling.

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