On Your Side Alert: Gmail Privacy Concerns - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

On Your Side Alert: Gmail Privacy Concerns

Posted: Updated:
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

If you use Google's Gmail service, you've probably seen the recent headlines about privacy concerns. Right now Google is working to get a judge to throw out a class-action lawsuit that claims it violated privacy laws by having an automated processor scan emails.

The company admits it uses an automated system to scan emails to deliver targeted Ads. University of Richmond Law Professor, Jim Gibson, says it's a lucrative business model. "This is how Google makes its money. It tries to get to know who you are and target advertising to you accordingly. So you better give up Google if you don't want Google reading your stuff," he tells us.

Despite a recent class action lawsuit, that claims its violating privacy laws, Google stands by its email scanning procedure. So far, the judge says the case can move forward. "If Google is right and you don't have a reasonable expectation of privacy in your email communications, that means that government doesn't need a warrant to read your email communications either, because that is pretty much the same legal standard that we use when we are deciding whether a warrant is necessary for electronic communications," Gibson explains.

We contacted Google about the recent lawsuit and allegations of privacy violations. The company released a statement that says, "We've asked the court to let us appeal. Automated scanning allows us to provide Gmail users with security and spam protection, as well as other great features like priority inbox."

"Google tried to argue that everybody knows we do this, so when you send an email to a Gmail user, you know we are going to read it, sort of an implied consent theory but that is what the judge shot down," Gibson says. Google argues Gmail users consented to the email scanning when they agreed to Google's terms of services but Professor Gibson says Gmail users are not the only ones claiming their privacy is being violated.

"The reason it is an issue now is that the folks in the current class action suit aren't Google subscribers, they are people who send emails to Gmail users and so they never consented to Google's terms of use, because they don't have Gmail accounts," he says. It's a privacy battle that will play out very publicly. If you're not happy Gmail's terms of use, Gibson says you can always switch to another service.

Helpful links:

https://support.google.com/a/answer/60762?hl=en

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/799772-google-class-action.html

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/10/02/technology/google-email-case.html?_r=0

Copyright 2013 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Search teams scour UVA area overnight for missing coed

    MISSING UVA

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 2:16 AM EDT2014-09-16 06:16:22 GMT
    An 18-year-old University of Virginia student has been missing since Saturday and police are concerned about her safety. Hannah Elizabeth Graham sent her friends a text message around 1:20 a.m. on Saturday,
    An 18-year-old University of Virginia student has been missing since Saturday and police are concerned about her safety.
  • BREAKING

    Richmond police investigating double homicide at Meadow Creek apartments

    Richmond police investigating double homicide

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 12:37 AM EDT2014-09-16 04:37:26 GMT
    Richmond police are investigating a shooting at the Meadow Creek apartments. A significant number of police officers is on the scene at the apartment complex off Hull Street Road.NBC12 has a crew at the
    Richmond police are investigating a shooting at the Meadow Creek apartments. A significant number of police officers is on the scene at the apartment complex off Hull Street Road.
  • Report: Accused killer admits to cannibalism

    Report: Accused killer admits to cannibalism

    Monday, September 15 2014 5:39 PM EDT2014-09-15 21:39:25 GMT
    Horrific details of a southern Indiana homicide were released Monday, including allegations that Joseph Oberhansley ate portions of Tammy Jo Blanton's brain, heart and lungs after stabbing her to death.
    Horrific details of a southern Indiana homicide were released Monday, including allegations that Joseph Oberhansley ate portions of Tammy Jo Blanton's brain, heart and lungs after stabbing her to death.
Powered by WorldNow

310 Broadway
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701

FCC Public File
publicfile@kfvs12.com
573-335-1212
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and KFVS12. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.