Feeds

Google FAILS in attempt to nix Gmail data-mining lawsuit

No, Mr Ad Giant, you can't scan world+dog's emails without explicit consent

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Google faces a torrid court battle in the US after a judge ruled that a class action lawsuit brought against the company that challenges its practice of scanning emails for ad-targeting can proceed.

Mountain View had protested against plaintiffs in the case, who claimed that Google had breached several stateside laws including wire-tapping and privacy legislation.

But Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose's district court denied Google's attempt to rip up the lawsuit - which was brought by nine complainants.

It has been claimed by the plaintiffs, according to court documents, that Google "has violated state and federal antiwiretapping laws in its operation of Gmail."

Google was unsuccessful in its argument that Gmailers had consented to having their messages scanned when they signed up to the email service as part of "the ordinary course of its business."

The judge disagreed with the Chocolate Factory and further noted that non-Gmail users were not able to consent to such data-slurping behaviour. She said:

Plaintiffs who are not Gmail or Google Apps users are not subject to any of Google's express agreements. Because non-Gmail users exchange emails with Gmail users, however, their communications are nevertheless subject to the alleged interceptions at issue in this case.

The Register asked Google to comment on this story, but it had not got back to us at the time of writing.

In the summer, Google's motion to dismiss the lawsuit revealed some choice quotes about the company's data-handling practices.

"Just as a sender of a letter to a business colleague cannot be surprised that the recipient's assistant opens the letter, people who use web-based email today cannot be surprised if their emails are processed by the recipient's [email provider] in the course of delivery," the motion said.

"Indeed, 'a person has no legitimate expectation of privacy in information he voluntarily turns over to third parties.'" ®

The next step in data security

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.