Recently, U.S. citizens have started debating about their privacy. Their main concern are the U.S. laws, which have failed to protect them. As such, comparison are made with European Union, which is viciously protective of its citizens. Perhaps, privacy concerns have aggravated as the court in California has given one of the most absurd Internet class-action verdicts. According to the verdict, which took almost three years to decide, a Silicon Valley federal judge decided that it is legitimate for Yahoo to scan emails of its users and any email that resides on the server of Yahoo. In simple words, it means that Yahoo can easily scan not only the emails of its users, but any email sent from outside to the yahoo email address.
What makes the case even more controversial is the benefit that lawyers of the lawsuit got. Instead of assisting individuals who filed the lawsuit and spent thousands of dollars in the proceeding, the judge awarded nearly $4 million to lawyers. As a result, the public who confronted Yahoo for so long are also deprived of their cash. Perhaps, the settlement is also alarming because Google is also fighting a similar case in the same jurisdiction. Based on the verdict of the Yahoo settlement, it is likely that Google will also win allowing it to scan emails of its users and those who send emails to the Google server.
Three years earlier, concerned citizens filed a lawsuit claiming that Yahoo should not be allowed to scan their emails. In their application, they cited that eavesdropping and scanning of public documents is against the U.S. Congress and California Legislature, which states that such actions cannot be tolerated in a free and civilized society.
According to the verdict, Yahoo can scan the emails of its users. In his decision, the judge further stated that users of Yahoo mail gives the company right to scan their emails and emails originating from outside when they agree to the terms of Yahoo service. The only change the judge made was disallowing Yahoo to intercept originating emails before it settles on the company’s server. Perhaps, such decisions make a mockery of privacy of U.S. citizens who are becoming used to such offensive verdicts. If the trend continues, citizens may lose their privacy, altogether.