google logoThere are many universities and colleges that rely on Google’s email platform, Gmail, to provide and manage emails of their students. However it seems that over in UC-Berkeley, some students were too thrilled about Gmail as their service because they allege that Google had apparently scanned their emails illegally.

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So much so that they have since filed a lawsuit against Google, alleging that the company had intercepted and scanned their emails illegally without their permission for advertising purposes. The lawsuit goes on to claim that Google had apparently misled the school into thinking that school email accounts would not be scanned, and in turn that information was then passed down from the school to the students.

However it was pointed out in a blog post by Google that in April 2014, the company decided to end the scanning, indicating that prior to that they had been scanning students emails without their knowledge.

According to Chris Jay Hoofnagle, who teaches privacy law and internet law at the University says, “Google could use information it gleans from the messages for its own purposes — purposes it does not have to disclose to us. In effect, Google could act as an intelligence agency, deeply mining relationships and ideas among groups of people.”

Google has declined to comment on the lawsuit, but Ray Gallo who represents the plaintiffs is currently trying to recruit additional plaintiffs from other schools in which Google had promised that student emails would not be scanned. So far he and his team have managed to find 11.

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