Google Faces $1B Class Action Over College Email Snooping

Law360, New York (May 1, 2013, 12:27 PM EDT) -- Two university students hit Google Inc. with a potentially billion-dollar nationwide class action in California on Monday claiming it unlawfully intercepts communications via its Gmail-based Google Apps for Education program, which provides student, faculty and alumni email addresses to educational institutions.

Plaintiffs Robert Fread and Rafael Carrillo allege the Web giant violates the Electronic Communications Privacy Act by systematically harvesting content from emails sent and received via those educational addresses, despite the fact that, unlike regular Gmail clients, the so-called Apps EDU accounts are marketed to colleges as exempt from content-based targeted advertising.

With an estimated potential class of more than...

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