“Google made money by intercepting and processing emails you sent to Gmail users. My firm has been fighting Google in Court for three years,” says Gallo. “We've seen the evidence and gotten the court rulings. Now, it's time to collect on people’s claims for damages.”
Google Gmail Lawsuit
Gallo filed a lawsuit in Santa Clara Superior Court (Case No. 18CV324895), alleging that plaintiffs (non-Gmail users) never consented to Google’s intercepting, scanning, analyzing and cataloging the contents of their emails for advertising purposes. Google’s alleged actions violate state laws that prohibit electronic communications from being intercepted without the consent of all parties involved in the communication.
According to the complaint, Google first said that it collected and maintained user data solely to make its services work better, but subsequently began collecting and combining user data for ad targeting and other commercial purposes.
By obtaining users’ personal information, Google has dominated online advertising. By delivering ads targeted to susceptible buyers, Google can sell more advertising and command higher prices for ads, to the tune of $95.4 billion of advertising revenue in 2017, accounting for 87 percent of Google’s total revenue that year.
Google Email-Scanning Settlement
According to federal court records, 875 similar damages claims against Google were settled by Gallo LLP in 2016. In a separate class action settlement filed by the law firm in September 2015 (Matera v. Google United States District Court Northern District of California, Case No. 15-CV-04062-LHK ), Google agreed to stop intercepting emails sent to Gmail users for advertising purposes, but Matera sought only injunctive and declaratory relief, not damages. Until now…
Google Gmail Litigation Background
For the past three years Gallo has been prosecuting civil privacy cases against Google. “Gmail's architecture was designed to intercept emails before they reached the inbox and process them to extract and create data for advertising uses. Without consent, this is wiretapping,” says Gallo. Federal law requires only one party to consent, while some states' laws require that all parties (sender and receiver) consent.
Google reported to Gallo and his law firm that it stopped intercepting and processing emails for advertising purposes in late September 2017. The ,Matera v. Google settlement was final, and the federal court's injunction issued, in February of 2018. One month later Gallo filed new litigation seeking damages for certain non-Gmail users who emailed Gmail users.
“The claims arise under state statutes that require two party consent to intercept electronic communications, much like the statutes that require both parties to a phone call to consent to it being recorded,” Gallo explains. “The California Invasion of Privacy Act provides for a court to award $5,000 per violation—that means $5,000 per email sent and illegally intercepted by Google. It is money that is owed by Google to each person who never actually or implicitly consented to Gmail intercepting his or her emails sent to Gmail users.”
In the course of these lawsuits, Gallo and his team has reviewed 130,000 documents, and obtained Google's representatives testimony.
Do You Qualify?
If you reside in California (or one of a few other states), have never had a Gmail account (i.e., you use an email provider other than Gmail such as Yahoo, Microsoft or AOL), and you sent an email to an @gmail.com email address you may be owed $5,000.
READ MORE GMAIL PRIVACY LAWSUIT LEGAL NEWS
Qualifying non-Gmail users in California and a few other states can sign up at https://emailprivacy.gallo.law. The site automates consumers getting lawyers and access to their statutory remedies easily. Gallo urges you to seek legal help now because all claims expire soon. All California claims expire this month (September 2018), and attorneys need time to file your lawsuit.