Google’s legal counsel says Gmail users should have no legitimate expectation of privacy

By Shawn Knight · 30 replies
Aug 14, 2013
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  1. A motion filed by Google’s attorneys dated July 13, 2013 notes that Gmail users should have no legitimate expectation of privacy. The filing, related to ongoing litigation about how the search giant operates the popular e-mail service, was unearthed by...

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  2. SalaSSin

    SalaSSin TS Booster Posts: 149   +58

    Anyone got any viable alternatives that they would personally recommend? For some reason, I don't trust the results Google search gives me...
  3. We all knew it but....reading it THAT explicit is still disturbing

    WTF american people, aren't' you supposed to have the right to bear arms in case the government turned abusive? DO SOMETHING! ANYTHING!
    coppersloane likes this.
  4. ddg4005

    ddg4005 TS Guru Posts: 384   +54

    And here some people thought of Google as some benevolent counterpart to the evil entity in Redmond known as Microsoft. None of these companies have users' interests at heart; they are businesses and deal in matters of profit and expediency only. We'll have to learn how to communicate telepathically if we want privacy and even then some of use will deeper into another's thoughts.
    coppersloane likes this.
  5. Gmail was started by selling the idea that gmail is safe and secure. Looks like that was just a lie to get you to sign up.
    coppersloane likes this.
  6. You know how sometimes your e-mails are filtered into the spam folders? That's because your e-mail provider scanned the e-mail (every word!) and then filtered the e-mail based on it's contents.

    I don't believe that there are any actual people sitting over at google reading your e-mails (except probably NSA employees), instead it's all automated to filter out spam as well as provide ads that relate to your interests so you can use a free e-mail service. I don't see the problem here.
  7. Remember the alleged Google slogan? 'Do No Evil.'
    Apparently, Google has forgotten its roots.

    Now, it would appear that Google's slogan is 'Do as Much Evil as We Possibly Can!'

    As a previous commenter said, paraphrasing, 'Trust no one with nothing and you will never be disappointed.' (c) R.H.
    coppersloane likes this.
  8. Who dreaming privacy on this planet has less than IQ 80
  9. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,890   +1,224

    If you think having a computer scan your emails is evil, then you should be happy you lead such a privileged life.

    I can almost guarantee that years ago when Google execs were talking about starting Gmail someone said "It'll be a great way to learn more about people so we can target ads better". It may even have been the main reason for starting Gmail in the first place. The more we use Google's services, the better they can target ads, and the more ads they can sell. This isn't some evil plot, this is their business model. Google is an advertising company.

    According to Google's financials ( $43.5 out of their $46 billion in revenue in 2012 came from advertising.

    Has anyone ever read the fine print on their Gmail bill to see if say anything about privacy? No one has, because we don't get a Gmail bill. You 'pay' for Gmail by allowing Google to learn about what you're interested in, just like you 'pay' for facebook by seeing annoying ads all over the place.

    We need a few more old timers to remind the general population that there's no such thing as a free lunch. I think many people have forgotten that.
  10. Rad
  11. roxxas2

    roxxas2 TS Enthusiast Posts: 65   +22

    Google is secure. It's secure against hackers and other people trying to gain access to your e-mail. Google and the government however are the ones that can see all your things. Which doesn't really matter to me, the people who read my e-mails aren't people, they're the government.
  12. "WTF american people, aren't' you supposed to have the right to bear arms in case the government turned abusive? DO SOMETHING! ANYTHING!"

    The goverment having absolutely all the info about every american soul doesn't sound like a possible abusive or totalitay future goverment for the american people for some, very, strange reason.
  13. Rasta211

    Rasta211 TS Booster Posts: 215   +32

    Google has provided me with many useful free services.
    As long as they disclose and don't try to "trick/deceive" me then they can scan away!
  14. roxxas2

    roxxas2 TS Enthusiast Posts: 65   +22

    What's the government gonna do with my information? Tell the police I like to browse cat videos for hours?
  15. All emails are scanned from any mail provider, how do you supposed a spam is directed to your spam folder... *****s.
  16. Tygerstrike

    Tygerstrike TS Enthusiast Posts: 827   +93

    Its chicken little all over again. Oh the gmail is scanning!! Really ppl how do you expect privacy?? The only thing private is whats in your head. They can even see through closed curtains if they wanted to. There is no more an expectation of privacy on emails anymore then there is a expectation of privacy when your walking through walmart talking on your phone. Privacy has kinda turned into a word that hold no true meaning in todays society. Somehow, Somewhere, Someway, Someone can look at your entire life. ALL your personal information is given to you by govt agencies. Your SS#, Your DL#, hell ever bit of info you call private tends to be monitored in someway. So the fact that Google is scanning my emails as part of a way to ensure better services and continue to offer a free email. Sure go ahead. I personally have zip to hide. So they scanned my email to my mom!! OMFG!!! Now they know that I loves my moms!!!
    Lets face it..this is just another "buzz" topic that will be quickly discarded the moment something new pops up. And besides, I think it would be common sense to NOT put ANYTHING going out on the web that you dont want someone to find.
  17. Now that's funny! Some people want to complain about google scanning their email, but will carry an electronic tracking device around and pay a bunch of money per month in order to do it. What do I mean? Your cell phone lets the government track your every movement, your personal contacts and find out much more about you than google pulls from your emails.
  18. You're looking at one, Bubba, an old timer that is.

    My implication in my reply was that Google stated that its alleged corporate intent was
    'To Do NO Evil.'

    I said nothing about scanning of e-mails specifically.

    The implication was that Google, by its nature, in all of its services and transactions was following the (Corporate) philosophy of 'Do NO Evil.'

    Scanning e-mails and making the content of e-mails available to others, is, in my book, EVIL.

    And yes, I am a certified old timer.

    I have been involved, directly, in the alleged IT field for OVER 40 years.
  19. howzz1854

    howzz1854 TS Evangelist Posts: 611   +94

    Personally I'll have to side with google on this one. you're getting a free email account from them with loaded features that constantly gets updated. you can't naively expect the service to be high security. you want high security, use enterprise email accounts with firewalls that can burn the bacteria off the planet of the earth, or shell out some money yourself and pay for a service that cater towards security. I am sorry, as rare as it happens, consumer watchdog has got this one wrong.
  20. Hmmm! I guess that doesn't apply to corporate accounts, or does it. Wonder what organizations are thinking, unless they are speaking of individual users only.
  21. Jamesbrah

    Jamesbrah TS Enthusiast Posts: 60   +12

    Nobody should be concerned regarding their personal email.

    As many have already stated - it isn't as if Google employee's are sitting there reading your emails. The emails are simply being scanned for certain keywords and trends so that they can focus their ads towards you. This is their entire business model.

    The issue here is what happens to corporations who utilise GMAIL for their actual corporate email services. I personally haven't experienced a corporate version of GMAIL, but I suspect since it is a paid service, that the ads would not exist and the emails are segregated from the standard personal/free emails.
    dennis777 likes this.
  22. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    I agree. Apart from the fact that advertising is one of their tricks, they're also a tech company.
  23. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    I don't see what all the fuss is about. We always knew this was happening. It's not as though all our mail is read by other humans at Google to laugh at or report to the NSA. In order to keep this service free to us the advertiser must pay for it. Contrary to popular belief, Google is in the business of making money. They are not a charity organisation. If that's what you want, check out the Salvation Army but somehow I doubt they'll provide you free, unread, secure email.
  24. 1. None of you know whether anyone at Google reads emails.
    2. While they may not do so, the letter says "users should have no legitimate expectation of privacy". That is something else than "emails can be scanned for spam". It means: we can do whatever we like with our knowledge about your emails.
    3. Where I live, the law accepts that employees of email providers could read emails, but forbids any disclosure with a penalty of up to 1.5 years imprisonment. That means I can have a legitimate expectation of privacy.
    4. That Google offers the service for free is of no importance. That is their concern, and does not justify violation of privacy.
    Baldanders likes this.

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