Scan mail. Hasn't Google gone too far?

    In Houston, a man was arrested after Google contacted the National Center for the Search for Missing and Exploited Children and said that the man had kept explicit photos of the child in his email. As it turned out, this man had previously been convicted of sexual harassment of a child in 1994.

    “He kept the photos in his email. I would never know about them if it weren’t for Google, ”said Detective David Krapiva of the Houston City Child Crime Unit, in an interview with Channel 11. As soon as Google contacted the National Center for the Search for Missing and Exploited Children, the center warned about this is the police. Law enforcement officers used this information and received a search warrant. The information found on the other devices of the suspect showed even more suspicious photographs and text messages. The police arrested him, and the court ordered him to be detained with the possibility of release on bail of $ 200,000.

    On the one hand, what questions can be at all? You can be really grateful to Google for pre-empting such crimes or searching for the villains who have already committed them. Most adequate people will welcome email scans to look for these kinds of criminals. But on the other hand, to the question “Can users count on some level of privacy using Google’s mail services?” The answer is “Absolutely not.” As a matter of fact, and confirmed the trial a year earlier, the case against Google for email scanning failed. Then Google adjusted the terms of use and added the following text: “ Our systems will automatically analyze your content (including emails) to provide information useful to you .”

    Google has been fighting sexual abuse of children since 2006, it goes without saying that in this case, the company will use its capabilities and crawl content. Google never spoke directly about this, but the words of Jacqueline Fuller (director of Google Giving) on ​​the official Google blog are more than enough: “ We are in a business that generates information and tries to make it accessible to the widest possible range of people, but there is some“ information ” that should never be created or found. “We have a lot of opportunities to be sure that such content will not be available on the network, and people who share this information will be detained and punished .”

    Currently, Google is required to report child pornography when it finds it in accordance with federal and state laws of other countries. According to Chris Jay Hoofnegle, an attorney and director of information privacy programs at Berkeley, the whole catch is in the wording “when he finds it.” In other words, they are not obliged to search for anything, but only to inform when they find, for example, by chance. Google undoubtedly does absolutely right that it fights against such terrible crimes. But is Google limited to finding just that kind of information? Obviously not. And here are insiders for exchange trading, compromising on politicians, and a lot of interesting things, there will be more abruptly than any Wikileaks. If you want to keep something completely private - keep it offline.

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    Do you store any confidential information on your Gmail account?

    • 35.3% Yes 2231
    • 64.6% No 4076

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