Google\’s attorneys say their practice of electronically scanning the contents of people\’s Gmail accounts to help sell ads is legal, and have asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit that seeks to stop the practice.
Google says all email users must expect their emails will be subject to "automated processing."
But the lawsuit, filed in the western U.S. state of California, says the Internet giant illegally opens and reads the emails in violation of California\’s privacy laws and federal wiretapping statutes.
Google says it displays advertising based on words within Gmail messages, but adds that no humans are reading the emails.
The case comes at a particularly sensitive time for Google after documents leaked by former U.S. intelligence analyst Edward Snowden revealed that the U.S. National Security Agency secretly gathered user data from Google and other U.S. Internet companies to track people\’s movements and contacts.