A judge in California has ruled that Yahoo can face a class-action lawsuit for allegedly analyzing the content of emails in order to create targeted advertising. Specifically, the allegations refer to emails sent to Yahoo Mail users from non-Yahoo accounts since October 2011.
According to the BBC, more than 1 million people may sue Yahoo as a group.
Yahoo’s defense against these allegations is laughably offensive. As the BBC reports:
In its defence, Yahoo argued that some of the plaintiffs continued to email Yahoo subscribers, despite being aware of Yahoo’s activities and in doing so consented to Yahoo accessing their emails.
So, if you suspect that the reason you are seeing display ads for sofas is because you have been emailing with your mother about home decor . . . you had better stop emailing your mom, or Yahoo might count that as consent to have your emails spied upon.