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Google Defeats E-Mail Users’ Bid for Mass Privacy Lawsuit

Google Inc. won a major victory in its fight against claims it illegally scanned private e-mail messages to and from Gmail accounts, defeating a bid to unify lawsuits in a single group case on behalf of hundreds of millions of Internet users.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, yesterday refused to let the case proceed as a class action, which would have allowed plaintiffs to pool resources and put greater pressure on Google to settle. If individuals pursue their claims against the owner of world’s largest search engine, they’ll need to use their own financial resources to litigate.