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Russian court compels Google to pay penalty for reading private e-mails

December 29, 2015, 16:11 UTC+3 MOSCOW
In September, the Moscow city court ruled to recover $688 from Google payable to a Russian citizen Anton Burkov who alleged that the search engine specialist was reading his private e-mails
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© AP Photo/Virginia Mayo, File

MOSCOW, December 29./TASS/. The Moscow city court has dismissed Google’s cassation appeal against the decision to penalize it 50,000 rubles ($688) at the suit of a resident of Russia’s Urals city of Yekaterinburg who alleged that a search engine specialist was reading his private e-mails.

Google’s press service told TASS that it had no information as to whether Google would appeal against the court’s decision to the Russian Supreme Court.

In September, the Moscow city court ruled to recover 50,000 rubles from Google payable to Anton Burkov. The company said that letters were only automatically scanned to prevent spam.

However, Burkov was sure that this was not true. "Google’s robots are programed to collect information about users and provide contextual advertising," said the Urals city resident, noting that Russia's Constitution established the right to privacy of correspondence and that a Google user agreement was against the law.

"I discovered it quite by accident," he revealed then. "On the right side of my letters I saw an advertisement and realized that it contained data from my letters.

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