She ruled the "alleged interceptions are neither instrumental to the provision of email services, nor are they an incidental effect of providing these services."
John Smith, Consumer Watchdog's privacy project director, explained, "The ruling means federal and state wiretap laws apply to the internet. It's a tremendous victory for online privacy. Companies like Google can't simply do whatever they want with out data and emails."
It would be wrong to assume that Google is the only company that scans emails to collect information for advertisements. This ruling has the potential to impact many other companies' policies.
Google was "disappointed" with the ruling, said spokesman Matt Kallman. "Automated scanning lets us provide Gmail users with security and spam protection, as well as great features like Priority Inbox." The company also argued that users have already consented to email scanning in the end user agreement, giving Google free use of users' content.
Source: Washington Post