A settlement has been reached in the class action digital privacy litigation against Google Inc. regarding claims that the popular Gmail service scanned some outgoing user email messages to build marketing profiles and serve targeted ads.
Plaintiffs claimed Google routinely scans email messages that are sent to non-Gmail users by Gmail subscribers, analyzes content of those messages, and then shares that data with third parties in order to target ads to Gmail users, a practice many consumers felt was a significant invasion of their privacy and violated the California Invasion of Privacy Act and the federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act, known as the Wiretap Act.
According to The Recorder, the high-tech company has agreed to eliminate any processing of these messages “until after messages have arrived in a Gmail users’ inbox.” The proposed changes, which will not apply to any scanning performed to prevent the spread of spam or malware, will run for at least three years.
The case is Daniel Matera v. Google Inc., case number 5:15-cv-04062, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
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