Google CEO Larry Page
A U.S. judge has agreed to allow a class action lawsuit against Google to proceed.
In the suit, nine plaintiffs say that Google violated several laws, such as federal anti-wiretapping laws, by reading email messages in order to target ads, reports Reuters' Dan Levine.
Google asked the judge to dismiss the suit, arguing that users consented to this when they agreed to Google's terms of service. But the U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, Calif., didn't see it that way.
"Nothing in the policies suggests that Google intercepts email communication in transit between users, and in fact, the policies obscure Google's intent to engage in such interceptions," Koh wrote.
Obviously, just because a trial may take place doesn't mean Google won't settle out-of-court or, if it fights, win.
A Google spokesperson told us: "We're disappointed in this decision and are considering our options. Automated scanning lets us provide Gmail users with security and spam protection, as well as great features like Priority Inbox."
Even so, Microsoft has got to be doing the happy dance.
It's been engaged in a sometimes witty, sometimes vicious, marketing campaign called "Don't Get Scroogled," which blasts Google for scanning emails and tries to convince people to switch to Outlook.com instead.
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