The almighty Google has recently come under fire after they admitting that they scan content of incoming Gmail messages from users on third-party service providers.
The group that uncovered this filing, Consumer Watchdog, says that it was a “stunning admission” from Google.
Consumer Watchdog’s privacy project director, John Simpson says, “Google has finally admitted they don’t respect privacy. People should take them at their word; if you care about your e-mail correspondent’s privacy, don’t use Gmail.”
Google set out last month to try and get this class action lawsuit dismissed. This is with the recent pressure from people wanting to know their role in the National Security Agency’s (NSA) mass surveillance of US citizens and foreign nationals.
Now, as well all know, there are two sides to every story. The lawsuit claims that Google “unlawfully opens up, reads, and acquire the content of people’s private e-mail messages.”
This claim is actually supported by a quote that Google’s executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, made saying, “Google policy is to get right up to that creepy line and not cross it.”
While that is a very creepy way of putting it, Google’s side of the story claims that they are doing normal, ordinary business practices in the sense that they will scan you e-mails and you will begin seeing tailored ads within your e-mail based on things they scanned over in your e-mail.
An example: I sent an e-mail about how great World of Warcraft is, even though it’s not, and I would begin to see World of Warcraft ads when I check my mail. Google goes on to say that “all users of e-mail must necessarily expect that their e-mails will be subject to automated processing”. The lawsuit is still ongoing and I’m a bit anxious to actually see the outcome.
While I can see both sides of this argument, some believe that e-mails should be between you and the other party. Others aren’t bothered by the fact that they are scanned to tailor other businesses towards you.
One thing is certain: the internet is a creepy place.