In a decision issued last week that is being described by some as a “landmark,” Judge Koh of the Northern District of California denied a motion to dismiss a complaint filed against Google alleging that its Gmail service unlawfully intercepts the contents of emails sent by and to Gmail users.  The case involves Google’s longstanding practice of targeting ads in Gmail based on keywords in emails.  The plaintiffs claim that this practice violates the federal Wiretap Act and analogous state wiretapping and eavesdropping statutes. 

 The court denied Google’s motion to dismiss as to all but one of these claims.  Most notably, the court held that the plaintiffs’ claim under the Wiretap Act can proceed, rejecting Google’s arguments that its practice of scanning the contents of emails is authorized under exceptions in the Wiretap Act for interceptions that occur (1) in the “ordinary course of business” or (2) with the consent of at least one party to a communication. Continue Reading Court Denies Google’s Motion to Dismiss Gmail Wiretap Claims