The dismissal in itself isn't a huge shock, given that privacy lawsuits have a mixed record in court. Just this week, a different federal judge dismissed a case against Google stemming from the company's March 2012 overhaul of its privacy policies. At the same time, many other judges -- including Koh herself -- have allowed consumers to proceed with privacy cases against Web companies.
Either way, the FTC probably will continue to hold companies to their privacy policies. But Koh's ruling could signal trouble for consumers who want to bring private lawsuits. Already, Google is indicating it thinks the ruling will help it defeat a privacy lawsuit by a group of Android users. This week, the company submitted a copy of Koh's decision to U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey White in San Francisco. White currently is considering whether to allow a group of consumers to proceed with claims that Google wrongly transmits people's geolocation data and other personal information to app developers.