Gmail class-action lawsuit isn't allowed, judge rules

A class-action lawsuit against Google over allegedly scanning the contents of emails has been turned down in a US District Court. This marks a strong victory for Google, which would have faced paying an astronomical amount in damages if the class-action suit had been allowed to proceed.

The ruling was made by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh, who said the classes of people of which such a case would represent weren't "sufficiently cohesive". Beyond that, the crux of the issue revolves around whether Google intercepted email messages without permission.

To determine whether that issue took place, and based on what evidence has been presented in the lawsuit, Koh rules that each instances of alleged interception without permission would need to be "litigated on an individual, rather than class-wide basis." The judge had consolidated previous complaints about the matter that arose in a handful of states.

Said Google today in response to the ruling, "We're glad the court agreed that we have been upfront about Gmail's automated processing, which allows us to provide security and spam protection, tailored ads, and other great features like Priority Inbox."

SOURCE: Bloomberg