Google set to face class-action suit

Kramer Phillips By Kramer Phillips | 4 years ago

A Judge has ruled that Google must face another proposed class-action lawsuit over its scanning of Gmail. In a 38-page ruling, US District Judge Lucy Koh dismissed the search giant’s claims that the scanning is a natural part of everyday business.

“Not every practice that is routine or legitimate will fall within the scope of an ordinary course of business, ” the Judge wrote. Although she was in agreement that Google has to scan for other reasons like spam and virus protection, the search engine giant did not have to study for advertising reasons.

The Judge also noted that since 2014, the company has not been intercepted, scanning, and analyzing, for advertising purposes, the contents of emails transmitted through Google Apps for Education purposes.

This, she noted, was proof that Google can provide Gmail for some users without having to scan the emails for advertising purposes. Despite the ruling, the plaintiffs are not anywhere near a payday. They still have to pass several hurdles, including forming a class, which had been virtually impossible before. This failure to create a class had led the individual plaintiffs to drop their case with prejudice.

In this instance that was ruled on by Judge Lucy Koh, the plaintiffs are seeking to represent users who are not on the Gmail platform, but have still had the contents of their emails scanned because they interact with Gmail users.

The Plaintiffs are of the opinion that the scanning violates the federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act and also the California state privacy laws.