Midwest Telecom of America

Creating Next Generation Voice and Data Solutions for Businesses in Northwest Indiana

Google: Gmail Users Should Not Expect Privacy

google eye

Privacy is a hot topic today, given the media coverage of the NSA’s snooping, and this week’s revelation that the FDA has access to just as much (if not more) personal data of American citizens.  Small business owners can’t help but wonder: Can we expect anything to be private online?

According to Google, the answer is no; and that includes any email sent or received on their signature Gmail service.

Consumer Watchdog quoted a brief filed in a recent federal court case and brought to our attention by best-selling business author Bernard Marr:

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… in the course of delivery. Indeed, ‘a person has no legitimate expectation of privacy in information he voluntarily turns over to third parties. (Smith v. Maryland, 442 U.S. 735, 743-44 (1979))

So Google shows no sign of blushing as it blatantly acknowledges the lack of privacy in its email program.  This would be no surprise to anyone who has read Google’s Privacy Policy, but it may become an issue for small business owners who use Google’s Business Apps for hosting their email as their customers have a legal right to privacy.

Google’s empire is built on information, and one look at your Google Dashboard may open your eyes to the vastness of the data being mined from your unique internet presence.  So information hoarding is Google’s money-maker, but small businesses are not individual internet users.  Liability for your clients’ personal information is one concern, and outright theft might be another, as unlikely as that seems, but the greater negativity this report brings is the feeling that Google’s big brother, eye-in-the-sky approach is unethical and downright creepy.  Sure, maybe nothing will come of Google’s data-collecting, but look where the Dashboard report shows a pie chart of where you spend your time, including how many hours you were at home last week, and you might think otherwise.  Wall Street Journal reporter Tom Gara did, he created this infographic, which you can see for more information.

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2 comments on “Google: Gmail Users Should Not Expect Privacy

  1. Pingback: Track Google on Android! | Ace Worldwide Services

  2. Pingback: What Google knows about us …or Tom Gara | thelittlethingcalledmedia

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This entry was posted on September 3, 2013 by .