A group of Californian students have chosen to take a stand against Google’s email surveillance, claiming that it is a violation of federal and state privacy laws.

The group are actually suing Google and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California is in the process of hearing the complaint made by the nine students.

Google Sign

Currently Google’s Gmail is a component of Apps for Education, which a suite of free, web-based education tools made available worldwide but is mainly used by students under 18. A Google representative has explained how the company scans and indexes emails from all Apps for Education users for advertising purposes.

In seeking class-action certification, the students could potentially be part of a case that leads to a pay-out to millions of Gmail users.

There has been a lot of controversy over Google’s Gmail surveillance. The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) highlights that even if Gmail users agree to the terms of use, non-subscribers who email them haven’t and therefore have not consented to have their communications analyzed. “Non-subscribers have not consented and indeed may not even be aware that their communications are being analyzed or that a profile may be compiled of him or her,” states an FAQ on EPIC on the subject.

We will keep you informed of any developments surrounding this case.

[Image via elisa-dbi]

SOURCE: http://mashable.com/2014/03/19/students-sue-google-gmail/