US district Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California ruled that the proposed class action lawsuit against Google can proceed. She rejected Google’s argument that its users had consented to having their email read for the purposes of targeted advertising.
“We’re disappointed in this decision and are considering our options,” Google spokesman Matt Kallman said in an email.
Litigation brought by nine plaintiffs, some Gmail users, some not, was consolidated before Koh earlier this year. The plaintiffs maintain Google violated several laws, including federal anti-wiretapping statutes by systematically crossing the “creepy line” to read private email messages in order to profit, according to court documents.
Google moved to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing in part that the plaintiffs had consented to the scanning when they agreed to Google’s terms of service.