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Google also had a class-action suit by AdWords advertisers many years ago. They settled. This required messaging all members of the class. Typically this is handled by postal mail. Google also delivered messages over email and, in the bargain, decided if your email address ended in gmail.com they'd take a peak at certain information in your Gmail account to make sure you had gotten it. We know they did this because Google's lawyers bragged about it to the court in a legal filing.

I was not thrilled about this, more of the principle of the thing than for any major harm caused by that particular disclosure. http://www.kalzumeus.com/2006/07/28/googles-lawyers-admit-to...




> they'd take a peak (sic) at certain information in your Gmail account to make sure you had gotten it

If Google checks its spam logs to ensure a mass mailing wasn't classified as spam, is that really equivalent to Microsoft's action?

Checking spam logs is a lot more benign than rummaging around through a specific user's email.


Its a line they crossed. You dont have the right to decide where that line is for other people. You can reason it into the benign all you like the fact is they were snooping in a targeted way.

If the NSA only checks the logs of people to see if they received an email is it ok because they were just looking for "terrorists"?


They have the right because it's their service. No one is forcing you or anyone else to use their email service. If you don't like it, you're free to move to another email service. Or better yet, do what I did and just have it go straight to your own domains email.


I'm sorry but I still have a right to privacy no matter whom the service belongs to. Companies cannot overturn my rights simply because they own the service. They are a carrier whether they like it or not and have to adhere to certain standards at the very least on social responsibility grounds.

I find the old companies can do what they want just use someone else fallacy very tired.

I can't simply change my email address that is something easier said than done. This isn't myspace were talking about or some dating service. This is my online identity and more and more my real life one at that.


"have to adhere to certain standards"

Google already deliberately violates[0] the RFPs defining the expected behavior of their SMTP server by rewriting your headers when they want to. If they feel entitled to change your outgoing email messages, the other stuff shouldn't be too surprising.

[0]http://lee-phillips.org/gmailRewriting/


Honestly I dont trust google in the slightest. They probably have more I formation on me and my peers than any other entity in the world. I'm not saying they are utterly untrustworthy or inherently evil, I simply dont just don't trust anyone that much.

Regarding being surprised, I'm not.


If there is a sadder moral standard than "might makes right", I am unable to bring it to mind.


Your statement is correct, but not relevant. Even if they had total market dominance, it would be a stretch to compare them to somebody using physical violence, and they certainly don't go out of their way to lock you into using gmail (compared to Yahoo, for instance, who didn't let me set up email forwarding without upgrading to a paid account).


Physical violence isn't the only form of might. "Might" is a synonym for power. And ownership, which is what squintychino claims justifies their actions, is certainly a form of power.


For what its worth I understood.


Please stop the meme that surveilance and spam filtering are equivalent. Thanks.


Checking if a message is marked spam or not isn't the best way to confirm a legal delivery. Say, I setup my Gmail to forward all mails to my thunderbird or outlook but when it gets there, the respective clients accidentally filter the specific message as spam, what then?

Monitoring for a "read bit" on the message is the only way to confirm proper delivery.


If you forward your mail to thunderbird, then gmail would have no knowledge of how you marked it.


If you are using IMAP, it keeps the status of the message synced with the server.


That wasn't the only case, there was one incident where Google employees were caught sniffing users accounts [1]. Also Google have themselves said not to expect any privacy on GMail [2].

Not sure why it surprises many people that Company X has access to the data stored on their servers especially when no explicit contract has been signed stating otherwise.

[1] http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/09/google-spy/

[2] http://phandroid.com/2013/08/13/gmail-privacy-concerns/


[deleted]


To quote from the article:

"Google said that their users should assume that anything electronically sent through Google’s servers is fair game to used for ads, or other purposes."

To put it bluntly, Google says, “a person has no legitimate expectation of privacy in information he voluntarily turns over to third parties."

So nope it is within the context unless there is a legal requirement to use users data for ads or other purposes.


And if you read the actual motion[1], you'll see that's referring to people that send email to people with gmail accounts, not the account holders themselves. Quoting Smith v Maryland didn't exactly endear them to me in that case, but it is certain true that "Just as a sender of a letter to a business colleague cannot be surprised that the recipient’s assistant opens the letter, people who use web-based email today cannot be surprised if their communications are processed by the recipient’s ECS provider in the course of delivery." Sorry, but if you send an email to me, I'll treat it as I see fit, including letting my email provide run ads on it to pay for my service, and no, that "confidentiality notice" you included has absolutely no legal power over my email account.

[1] http://www.scribd.com/doc/160134104/Google-Motion-to-Dismiss...


Is that (part of) the reason why your profile lists no gmail address, but directs us to your own domains instead?

Also: Thanks for sharing that. Another nail in the coffin.


Substantially all of my business email goes over Google systems. I like their company a lot. I also like several banks and insurance companies. Google institutionally believes, and attempts to convince other people, that it is intrinsically more trustworthy than e.g. banks and insurance companies. It has been a while since I have treated those statements as anything more than the self-serving PR of a Fortune 500 company.


Puh-lease, keep your fanboyism in check.

  foo@bar:~$ dig -t mx kalzumeus.com

  ;; QUESTION SECTION:
  ;kalzumeus.com.                 IN      MX

  ;; ANSWER SECTION:
  kalzumeus.com.          3600    IN      MX      20 alt1.aspmx.l.google.com.
  kalzumeus.com.          3600    IN      MX      10 aspmx.l.google.com.
  kalzumeus.com.          3600    IN      MX      30 alt2.aspmx.l.google.com.
  kalzumeus.com.          3600    IN      MX      50 aspmx3.googlemail.com.
  kalzumeus.com.          3600    IN      MX      40 aspmx2.googlemail.com.


Okay, I should've done that myself.

Puh-lease? Fanboyism? That's uncalled for/the wrong tone, really.


What I find most interesting is that it reads ASP Mail eXchange, where ASP is Microsoft's. Or perhaps I'm misreading it.


Microsoft might have the ASP programming language.. the ASP, the combination of three letters has nothing to do with Microsoft!


Wow,fan boys's are crazy, I mean this is like 9/11 conspiracy theories kinda crazy. What next? Today is the 21st, Microsoft is on One Microsooft way?


The privacy policy exerpt you included is misleading; it's the section relating to third-party businesses. The full privacy policy [1] states that Google can process your gmail internally for almost any purpose relating to Google's business.

[1] https://www.google.com/intl/en/policies/privacy/


Please note the publication date of the post, in 2006. This was the privacy policy in place at the time. https://www.google.com/intl/en/policies/privacy/archive/2005... I do not believe that I was unfair in describing either the letter or intent of their privacy policy.


Didn't expect that from you, patio11...take a "peak"?!




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