Google Win Threatens End To Privacy Class Actions

By Allison Grande (March 24, 2014, 9:38 PM EDT) -- A California federal judge last week dashed plaintiffs' hopes of certifying a massive class action accusing Google Inc. of illegally capturing data from Gmail messages, a ruling that attorneys say hands companies a potent defense for escaping challenges that could encompass their entire user base.

In rejecting plaintiffs' motion to certify four classes and three subclasses, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh ruled on March 18 that individual issues regarding users' consent to the alleged email scanning practices would "overwhelmingly predominate" over common issues and therefore render class treatment inappropriate.

The consent issue weighed heavily on the case because Google was likely...

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