updated 08:32 am EDT, Fri September 6, 2013
Plaintiffs call foul on e-mail scanning
Google has continued to defend its Gmail scanning and ad-targeting practices, pushing for dismissal of a privacy lawsuit filed in a San Jose federal court. In a Thursday hearing, the company's attorneys argued that "all users of e-mail must necessarily expect that their e-mails will be subject to automated processing," as quoted by the AP.
Judge Lucy Koh reportedly acknowledged the request and promised to consider the request, though a time-frame for a decision remains unclear. She later expressed interest in scheduling the trial for next year, suggesting the proceedings are likely to continue without dismissal.
Plaintiffs have sued the company for scanning e-mails and using the data to optimize advertising for each Gmail user, without clearly and explicitly obtaining permission from the user. Attorneys argue that Google also scans incoming messages in the same way, including content arriving from accounts with other e-mail providers.
The case is viewed as significant to the entire industry, potentially serving to clarify if such ad-targeting practices are in violation of privacy laws.