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Gmail: You Weren't Really Expecting Privacy, Were You?

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by The Scarlet Pimp, Aug 15, 2013.

  1. The Scarlet Pimp

    The Scarlet Pimp Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    anyone still using chrome... :eek:

    The Internet is in a panic over a Google legal brief that claims Gmail users have no expectation of privacy when they use the service. Good headline, but let's be honest: that's the entire point of Gmail.

    So, I just finished reading Google's motion to dismiss in response to a lawsuit alleging that its e-mail scanning violates California privacy laws. And I'll say this: those Google lawyers are towering writers, indeed. But on to the point: did Google really argue in its rebuttal to the lawsuit that Gmail users do not and never should have an expectation of privacy when they're using Gmail? I mean, they actually just came out and said it like that!?

    Well, yes. But if you read the brief, or the Gmail Terms of Service, or even stop and think about what Gmail actually does, that shouldn't come as a surprise, and it's nothing Google hasn't baldly stated before. I'm not saying I like it, but it's definitely not news. It's actually just how Gmail works.

    So, yes, Google is saying that you don't have an expectation of privacy when you're using Gmail. But what Google is also saying is that you knew you didn't have an expectation of privacy when you signed up, because when you signed up you agreed to contextual advertising, to indexed, searchable email, to spam filters, and to content filters like Priority Inbox.

    Those features, necessarily, involved automated scanning of e-mail. And, Google argues, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act specifically permits such indexing and automated scanning by email providers because it's "necessary" for them to continue to deliver you free, Web-based email (that they use as a vector for serving you ads).

    Now, there are some remarkable notes that should be chilling to anyone who's not on Gmail but has friends who are: Google's brief points out that "nder federal law, the consent of a single party to a communication is complete defense to any liability and so the consent of the Gmail user alone is sufficient to bar a claim." That seems problematic, from a privacy perspective, or at the very least, legitimately surprising.

    But again, this is Google we're talking about. The company that could probably easily create a full-scale digital replica of you that would talk like you, look like you, know everything about you, and maybe even be way smarter than you.

    Google reads your e-mail, knows what's in your calendar, looks at your photos, and knows who your friends are, and that's just via its in-house services. When you include the breadth of its search, Google knows everything about you that's public information, from your address to all your online profiles to your marital status and much, much more.

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-31322_3-57598424-256/gmail-you-werent-really-expecting-privacy-were-you/
     
  2. dondada7

    dondada7 Power Member

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    They can look in my calender all they want or my photos I aint bothered
     
  3. lurnme

    lurnme Regular Member

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    If you like chrome just use iron 'SRWare Iron: The browser of the future - based on the free Sourcecode "Chromium" - without any problems at privacy and security'

    But really this is like being surprised when Edward Snowden said the NSA is surveilling us. Of course they are.
     
  4. randezzi

    randezzi Newbie

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    It's a free webmail service from Google, what more did you expect?
     
  5. Asif WILSON Khan

    Asif WILSON Khan Executive VIP Premium Member

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    Well any company that has "Don't be evil" as its company motto is obviously trustworthy and would never do anything to hurt me, would they?