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In a stunning admission contained in a brief filed recently in federal court, lawyers for Google said people should not expect privacy when they send messages to a Gmail account.
‘a person has no legitimate expectation of privacy in information he voluntarily turns over to third parties.’
Google uses the content of the email messages ... for its own benefit ... unrelated to the service of email
a sender of a letter to a business colleague cannot be surprised that the recipientâ€™s assistant opens the letter
What Google is saying is that if you send an email to an Gmail address, you implicitly agree to Google's processing of email messages, including automated scanning to of the contents to insert relevant ads.
Of course you consent to it
Do you think it is not ethical for someone to get an assistant to open their letters and process them (decide which to send a form reply to, which to put in the bosses in-tray, etc.)? That is a MUCH greater invasion of privacy than Google's purely automated processing.Delegation is not an invasion of privacy.
A hearing in the case, In re Google Inc. Gmail Litigation, Case No. 5:13-md-02430-LHK, will be held before Judge Lucy H. Koh in U.S. District Court in San Jose, CA. at 1:30 p.m., Sept. 5.
“Google’s brief uses a wrong-headed analogy; sending an email is like giving a letter to the Post Office,” said Simpson. “I expect the Post Office to deliver the letter based on the address written on the envelope. I don’t expect the mail carrier to open my letter and read it. Similarly when I send an email, I expect it to be delivered to the intended recipient with a Gmail account based on the email address; why would I expect its content will be intercepted by Google and read?”
The point is that you agree to let them process your email in accordance with whatever agreement they have with the recipient.
"if you care about your email correspondents’ privacy don’t use Gmail.”
“sending an email is like giving a letter to the Post Office,” said Simpson.
why would I expect its content will be intercepted by Google and read?
I have not consented to that, or to anything else.
You have not consented to their forwarding the email, or printing it out. Should those be illegal?
To repeat my question, do you think the Gmail spam filter is an invasion of privacy?
I said you have consented to certain things you can reasonably expect them to do
It is not a secret.