Lawsuit brought against Yahoo
A Californian judge has ruled in favour of a class action lawsuit against Yahoo! Inc for allegedly accessing the content of emails sent to its mail users from non-Yahoo Mail accounts.
US District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, said that all US residents who sent emails to or received emails from Yahoo Mail users from 2 October 2011 till now may sue the company as a group, granting it class action status.
The judge also ruled that a group of non-Yahoo account holders in California since 2 October 2012 may also sue as a group for privacy infringement.
In the Yahoo case, it is estimated that there are over one million email users who could be part of the class action privacy lawsuit, which will make it easier for the group to receive larger damages and more wide-ranging resolutions at a lower cost.
The plaintiffs have alleged that Yahoo copies the entirety of emails, extracts keywords, and reviews and extracts links and attachments, in violation of the federal Stored Communications Act and California's Invasion of Privacy Act, and uses the information to boost its revenue through targeted advertising.
Yahoo, which has 275 million mail subscribers, claims that its automated systems scan and analyse all incoming and outgoing messages to detect, among other things, certain keywords, partly to provide interest-based ads but also to detect viruses and malware.
Despite the information, Yahoo argued in its defense that some of the plaintiffs continued to email Yahoo subscribers, and in doing so consented to Yahoo accessing their emails.
Last year, nearly 80 percent of Yahoo's advertising revenue came from its targeted advertising.
The plaintiffs have sought an injunction barring the alleged interceptions, as well as damages.
You can read more about email providers in our internet report
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