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Thu Sep 26, 2013, 08:38 PM Sep 2013

Google Must Face Most Claims in Gmail Wiretap Lawsuit

Google Inc. (GOOG) must face most claims in a lawsuit alleging it illegally reads and mines the content of private messages sent through its Gmail e-mail service in violation of federal wiretap laws.

U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh in San Jose, California, today granted Google’s request to throw out state claims, while allowing the plaintiffs to refile. She refused to dismiss federal claims, rejecting the company’s argument that the plaintiffs agreed to let Google intercept and read their e-mails by accepting its service terms and privacy policies.

“The court finds that it cannot conclude that any party -- Gmail users or non-Gmail users -- has consented to Google’s reading of e-mail for the purposes of creating user profiles or providing targeted advertising,” Koh said in the ruling.

Users of Gmail and other e-mail services from states including Texas, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Florida contend that Google “does not disclose the extent of its processing,” according to a May 16 court filing. The case consolidates seven individual and group lawsuits.


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