Not only do we have to worry about the government spying on us, but also the private sector:
Google doesn’t believe that people can reasonably expect their emails to stay private.
At least, that’s what the internet giant articulated in a brief that was filed last month in federal court and recently surfaced by Consumer Watchdog. The document was written in response to a class-action lawsuit accusing Google of violating wiretap law when it scans emails to serve up targeted ads.
Plantiffs accuse Google of violating the privacy of its users by mining their personal messages for information that it uses to inform which targeted ads it displays. The suit calls for Google to fully disclose exactly what information it’s taking from emails, and to pay damages for these alleged violations of privacy. (You can read a redacted version of the complaint here).
The company argued in its motion to dismiss the lawsuit that “all users of email must necessarily expect that their emails will be subject to automated processing.” (You can read the full motion here).
Google asserts that, in principle, if you entrust your personal messages to a third party, you can’t expect that the third party won’t touch any of that information…