While the case moved forward last fall, a federal judge has now ruled that a major suit against Google will be denied class-action status.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, Calif. decided that plaintiffs' claims – that Google allegedly scanned the contents of Gmail users' emails for advertising purposes – could not be consolidated. Such actions were said to violate federal wiretap law.

Koh ruled in September that Gmail users hadn't consented to the alleged actions, but without class-action status, litigation would now move forward on a much smaller, individual level.

Prior to the ruling, the plaintiffs took legal action against Google on behalf of hundreds of millions of online users.