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Wayne Plimmer, a retiree living in Sechelt, British Columbia, filed a class action lawsuit against Google last week. In it, he and his attorney allege that Google’s Gmail service “intercepts, obtains and uses personal information it collections from emails sent to Gmail users.”
Gmail users, of course, can only use the service if they consent to Google’s terms of service, which explicitly allow the company’s algorithms to scan your email in order to present you with targeted ads. The twist in this lawsuit, and a number of previous ones filed against Yahoo and Google in a number of courts in the U.S. earlier this year, is that the plaintiff is not a Gmail user, which would immediately render his arguments moot. Instead, Plimmer argues that Google is invading his privacy by readings emails he sends to Gmail users. In addition, the lawsuit also argues that Google infringes on the email senders’ copyright, as well as solicitor-client, physician-patient, priest-penitent and journalist-source privileges.Google Facing Class Action Suit Over Gmail In Canada [techcrunch.com]
They do a scan for advertising purposes not keep your information.
Violation of privacy actionable
1 (1) It is a tort, actionable without proof of damage, for a person, wilfully and without a claim of right, to violate the privacy of another.
(2) The nature and degree of privacy to which a person is entitled in a situation or in relation to a matter is that which is reasonable in the circumstances, giving due regard to the lawful interests of others.
(3) In determining whether the act or conduct of a person is a violation of another's privacy, regard must be given to the nature, incidence and occasion of the act or conduct and to any domestic or other relationship between the parties.
(4) Without limiting subsections (1) to (3), privacy may be violated by eavesdropping or surveillance, whether or not accomplished by trespass.
The only sensitive details I could think of that would be worrisome might be something illicit like child porn or terrorist related.
[edited by: bakedjake at 1:58 pm (utc) on Oct 9, 2012]