I know I posted something on this earlier today, but I just came across Katharine Goodloe’s write-up of Judge Koh’s ruling in the Google litigation about scanning emails for advertising. It’s worth a read if you want to understand what happened. Her recap begins:
The Northern District of California yesterday denied class certification to a group of plaintiffs suing Google over the company’s practice of scanning emails for advertising purposes in its Gmail service.
Judge Lucy H. Koh held that individualized issues of consent would predominate over any common issues of law in the litigation, and denied Plaintiffs’ request to certify four classes and three subclasses of plaintiffs.
Plaintiffs sought to bring claims under the federal Wiretap Act and analogous state anti-wiretapping statutes.
Plaintiffs contend that Google’s practice of scanning emails for advertising purposes violates these anti-wiretapping laws because the practice involves Google’s “interception” of users’ communications. The Wiretap Act prohibits the interception of wire, oral, or electronic communications, but contains several exceptions that render such interceptions lawful, including an exception based on the consent of one of the parties to the communication. The state anti-wiretapping laws contain similar exceptions, though the consent exceptions in some states require the consent of all parties to the communication.
Read more on InsidePrivacy.