Monday, November 12, 2012

Plaintiffs Fight to Keep Class Action Privacy Suit Against Google Alive

English: Seal of the en:United States District...
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United States District Court for the Northern District of California Judge Lucy H. Koh will hear arguments March 21, 2013, in Brad Scott & Todd Harrington v. Google, Inc. (Case No. 5:12-cv-03413) in deciding whether the social media giant violated California's Invasion of Privacy Act ("CIPA") [Cal. Penal Code, Pt. 1, Title 15, c.1.5, secs. 630-638].

As reported by Courthouse News Service, the plaintiffs sued Google last June, claiming Gmail scans users' emails for words and content and intercepts communications between users and non-subscribers pre-delivery and without the parties' consent.

Google, which filed a motion to dismiss the case after successfully removing the suit from state court to federal court, argues that CIPA doesn't contemplate the terms Internet, computer, email and electronic communication. Moreover, the defendant notes that Scott & Harrington, who are citizens of Alabama and Maryland respectively, have not linked their emails to California. Google further alleges that the plaintiffs have not shown they were injured by Google's purported actions and that their complaint merely alleges "their privacy rights were infringed in the abstract."

The plaintiffs counter that new technology such as employed by Google must abide by the same rules as telegraph communication and the telephone regarding users' privacy, irrespective of whether California courts have previously ruled on what plaintiffs allege is "wiretapping" and "eavesdropping."
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