Google's ubiquitous email service Gmail will be under judicial scanner as a Texas citizen filed a lawsuit against it stating the service acted in contravention of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986.
Plaintiff Keith Dunbar alleges that Google intercepted information sent by non-Gmail users and also used the information obtained from non-Gmail users without their consent. It states that though Google admits that it does not pass such information to third-parties, it however scans such information to send targeted messages to Gmail users based on the content.
The lawsuit further stated that Google gains monetary benefit from information availed from non-Gmail account holders.
The plaintiff is seeking $100 a day in damages for each violation or $10,000, whichever is greater, and disgorgement of profits made by Google based on scanning emails by non-Gmail users.
At the center of the accusation is Google's algorithm that uses information derived from emails to deliver targeted advertisements.
The lawsuit further stated that Google does not take consent from non-Gmail users for use of their content; it does not volitionally inform them that their content is being scanned and used for forwarding targeted ads.
Google has been a subject of privacy concerns for some time, primarliy its Google Street View cars project, which is used to compliment its Google Maps, has been the focus of constant privacy issues. In fact, Google admitted last month that the project had accidently collected more personal data including email and passwords from unsecured wireless networks.