Google argues for the right to continue scanning Gmail

“Google’s attorneys say their long-running practice of electronically scanning the contents of people’s Gmail accounts to help sell ads is legal, and are asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit that seeks to stop the practice,” Martha Mendoza reports for The Associated Press.

“The class action lawsuit, filed in May, says Google ‘unlawfully opens up, reads, and acquires the content of people’s private email messages’ in violation of California’s privacy laws and federal wiretapping statutes,” Mendoza reports. “The lawsuit notes that the company even scans messages sent to any of the 425 million active Gmail users from non-Gmail users who never agreed to the company’s terms.”

Mendoza reports, “Google says the process is fully automated, ‘and no humans read your email…'”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]

34 Comments

  1. Capone couldn’t be touched for bootlegging and smuggling but he was eventually brought down on tax evasion charges.

    Google, guilty of intellectual property theft, may finally be taken down on privacy concerns.

      1. Tried it. They just look at you as if you are insane. I think their, “Do no evil”, LIE has percolated into the minds of the general populace. Say it enough and it becomes true. It is also, unfortunately, a hallmark of 90% of the people who have ever set foot in the oval office.

  2. So it is ok an automat reads my mail and based on its content, stuffs my and my mailing partners with related shyte? The mailman that does that to my snailmail get a punch in the face. Its too bad we need spamfilters but this kind of profiling is just plain BAD.

    1. The mailman (or anyone else) that does the same thing with traditional snail mail goes to jail. That is a crime.

      Somehow, digital information is somehow (mistakenly, IMO) perceived as inherently less deserving of privacy perspective. So, if you write it on paper and slap it in a stamped and addressed envelope, you have the full protection of the law. But type the same thing into your email app and send it to the same person and it is apparently ripe for “automated scanning” with no repercussions or even a presumption of privacy.

      Something is terribly wrong with this picture.

      1. Note something you said: ” … in a stamped and addressed envelope”. The stamp cost money. You are in fact PAYING for a service. With GMail, unless you have a corporate account, you are not PAYING. If people want something for nothing, then they need to realize the piper still needs to be paid and he/she will get their pound of flesh in anyway they pretty much please.

        1. Actually, not quite correct. Your g-mail service is paid for by advertisers who by web page space on the g-mail web pages in order to show their ads while you are reading your g-mail (through the web interface). This is not the point of contention here; every single provider of free e-mail around the world supports the service in the same way. They sell advertising space, and about the only way they enhance that offering is by breaking down the space based on users’ profiles and information that the users provided when they signed up. What they DON’T do is rummage through their users’ content (messages, chats, mapping location information, purchase history, etc), regardless of what the justification for that may be.

          Google stands alone in the way they treat their users’ data. Free service can be offered in various ways. This is not unique to Google.

  3. If only the scanning were used for advertising efforts.
    1) Either set up a free gmail address or get the assistance of someone who already has one.
    2) Setup a new web page somewhere and do not link to it from anywhere.
    3) email a link to the page to the gmail account from step one.
    4) start watching your web server logs. In a couple if days you’ll see googlebot come visit!

    1. … and the world would be a better place.

      ad-supported services may be annoying, but with privacy protections, are relatively harmless.

      Google and Facebook’s datamining + insidious ad services, on the other hand, are the very definition of evil. They take without telling the user what has been taken. Alas, the mass populace always falls for whatever is “free”. Wake up, people.

    1. There are no ads and apple uses the money from sales of premium products for cloud services. They probably factor in the number of cloud services used in the lifespan of a device to the product price. And also Apple just doesn’t care about what you email about.

      1. Methinks the rise of think-for-you-dumb-human services like Google Now will trump user concerns over privacy and Apple will be forced to put Siri into that race. Amazon will put Evi into the mix. AI is here. Watson beat the Jeopardy champs. We’ll all have Alzheimer’s and early age related dementia from lack of brain usage, just as we have an obesity epidemic partly from engineering most of our physical movement from our environment.

        Privacy? What’s that?

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