Newsletters
Customer Relationship Management News NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
Home CRM Systems Customer Service Contact Centers Business Intelligence More Topics...
APC Free White Paper
Optimize your network investment &
Enter to win a Samsung Galaxy Note

www.apc.com
World Wide Web
Next Generation Data Center Is Here!
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Is Privacy Dead? Google Proudly Says It Scans Your E-Mail
Is Privacy Dead? Google Proudly Says It Scans Your E-Mail

By Seth Fitzgerald
April 15, 2014 1:57PM

Bookmark and Share
Users suing Google over alleged exploitation of private user data cannot do it as a class action because their damage claims are too broad, according to a ruling by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh. At the same time, Koh observed, there were issues with Google's interception of e-mails because it relied on a variety of unclear service agreements.
 



Google has updated its terms of service to clarify that it can scan e-mails for advertising purposes. This practice has been criticized by privacy organizations, users, and other technology companies like Microsoft. Even though users who attempted to file lawsuits against Google were not granted class-action status, a U.S. District Court has ruled that Google's terms of service did need to be reworked.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh's ruling seems to have been behind Google's decision to change its terms of service, though the company has not stated why the changes were implemented.

The Court's Decision

Users suing Google over alleged exploitation of private user data cannot do it as a class action because their damage claims are too broad, according to Koh's ruling in the District Court for the Northern District of California. At the same time, Koh observed there were issues with Google's interception of e-mails because it relied on a variety of service agreements that did not make it clear how user data would be utilized.

The plaintiffs are filing an appeal with the hopes that Koh's decision can be overturned. If the ruling stands, they would have file lawsuits individually or in small groups, which means legal costs could outweigh any beneficial outcome.

We asked Jeff Kagan, an independent technology analyst, for his view on Google's collection of user data for advertising purposes. He told us that given the fact that Gmail is a free service, users cannot expect that their information will remain private.

"That's one problem with Google Gmail. It's free, but that also means they can stick their noses into your e-mail for whatever reason they want." Kagan said. "I think users expect privacy, but if they want privacy they should not look to Google or their free e-mail service, Gmail. Privacy is expected when users pay for e-mail. This is free. That's the other side of the coin."

Numerous Complaints

Gmail users in particular have claimed that Google violated state and federal wiretapping laws because the company automatically scans e-mails. By continuously looking at the content of messages, Google is able to adjust advertisements to appeal to a user across any platforms using Google's advertising service.

The class-action lawsuit ruled invalid by Koh could have resulted in Google being forced to pay out billions of dollars. While that specific lawsuit has not been successful, privacy organizations have continued to pressure Google to change its policies.

In the updated terms of service, Google specifically states it is able to collect data from e-mails.

"Our automated systems analyze your content (including e-mails) to provide you personally relevant product features, such as customized search results, tailored advertising, and spam and malware detection," the new provision says. "This analysis occurs as the content is sent, received, and when it is stored."
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

Angela:

Posted: 2014-04-22 @ 4:12am PT
Is it right that, just because the service is free, people can expect their private communications to be violated? That is very wonky reasoning. A consequence of looking at everything in the world through a commercial lens.

MARY IRVINE:

Posted: 2014-04-16 @ 6:44am PT
I get very fustrated with gmail anyway because everytime I change my password or use a different computer I get locked out of my email, so I now have another email that is not gmail. Its free and no stupid adds! Unfortunatly my internet provider does not provide an email.



Get Powerful App Acceleration with Cisco. In a world where time is money, you need to accelerate the speed at which data moves through your data center. Cisco UCS Invicta delivers powerful, easy-to-manage application acceleration for data-intensive workloads. So you can make decisions faster and outpace the competition. Learn More.


 World Wide Web
1.   Tor Internet Privacy Service Breached
2.   Amazon Invests $2B To Grow in India
3.   Many Sites Are Studying Consumers
4.   Facebook To Force Use of Messenger
5.   OkCupid Experiments with Daters


advertisement
OkCupid Experiments with Daters
Unethical without user consent?
Average Rating:
Radical.FM's Freemium Biz Model
Online radio startup asks for donations.
Average Rating:
Many Sites Are Studying Consumers
Facebook and OKCupid are not alone.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
New 'Backoff' Malware Slips Undetected into Retail Systems
'Malicious actors' are using a new variety of malware to access consumer payment data remotely through point-of-sale systems, according to a report from the Department of Homeland Security.
 
IBM Beefs Up Identity Intelligence Security Solutions
Big Blue is betting big on identity intelligence. IBM just acquired a private firm with security software to govern user access to apps and data across cloud and on-premise environments.
 
USB Security Flaw Lets Hackers Hijack PCs
Hackers can use the firmware that controls USB functions to take control of computers, say security experts. That means there may be a new class of attack for which there are no defenses.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
AMD's ARM-Based Opteron Out in $3K Dev Kit
It's dubbed "Seattle" and it's AMD's first 64-bit ARM-based Opteron processor. The low-power chip is being released as part of AMD’s Opteron A1100-series developer kit, and aimed at high-end data center needs.
 
Apple Updates MacBook Pros, Cuts Prices Up to $100
The popular MacBook Pro laptop line just got an update and a price cut of as much as $100. The MacBook Pro with Retina display now includes faster processors and double the memory.
 
Dell, BlackBerry Not Sweating Apple-IBM Alliance
IBM's recent move to partner with Apple to sell iPhones and iPads loaded with corporate applications has excited investors in both companies, but two rivals say they are unperturbed for now.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
BlackBerry Messenger Now Available on Windows Phone
BlackBerry's free Messenger chatting and voice app is out of beta and widely available for Windows Phone users, the company said. BBM offers secure messaging, Groups, Voice, Channels and more.
 
Virgin Mobile Offers Custom Smartphone Plans
As the wireless carrier wars continue heating up, Virgin Mobile just threw the customization coal onto the fire. The firm has debuted a no-annual-contract plan with rates based on individual use.
 
Collaboration Provider Asana Revamps Mobile App
Asana, a collaboration software provider started by a Facebook founder, is now out with a rebuilt native iOS mobile app. It replaces one that even the company admits was not up to par.
 

Navigation
CRM Daily
Home/Top News | CRM Systems | Customer Service | Contact Centers | Business Intelligence | Sales & Marketing | Customer Data | CRM Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.