Google Taken to Court over Alleged Gmail Spying
Google's old catchphrase "don't be evil" is once again being thrown into question, as the internet search giant was dragged to court over accusations that the company reads personal correspondence sent by its Gmail users. The company has denied such claims, saying that it fully complies with California's Invasion of Privacy Act, according to RT.
Plaintiffs Scott and Todd Harrington filed the suit because they believe that Gmail scans personal emails looking for words and content without first obtaining users' permission, which would be a violation of internet privacy. Google released a 25-page report asking Judge Lucy Koh to dismiss the case. The company says that though it does scan data users send through its Gmail service, it is a completely automated process and no humans are involved.
"In the context of emails, multiple courts have recognized that no one can reasonably expect that the emails they send to others will be free from the automated processing that is normally associated with delivering emails," Google writes, according to the news source. "Plaintiffs fail to articulate a single concrete injury stemming from the automated processing of emails sent to Gmail users. Plaintiffs instead rely on conclusory allegations that their privacy rights were infringed in the abstract."
Keeping your emails secure is essential, particularly when you use it to send personal information. While it remains to be seen if the case against Google will be thrown out, there are many ways that your personal information can be compromised, particularly if you use a smart phone or table to access your email.
According to MIT, you can protect your phone by backing up your data and using passwords and screen locks to make it difficult to access, should it become lost or stolen. If you do lose your phone, it's important to file a police report as soon as possible, and also to alert your wireless provider immediately.