The End of Google’s Gmail?




Some may call me an alarmist, but could we be witnessing the beginning of the end for Google’s GMail? The company is already tip-toeing thru the issues surrounding privacy and the DOJ. Now comes word that a Judge has just ordered Google to hand over all emails – including those deleted – belonging to a Gmail account.

I can’t see how Google is going to be able to fight this, but it sets a dangerous precedent that emails, you thought were deleted on Gmail, are still available to any court in the land. Of course, only criminals need worry about having their personal info shared, but this still causes a great deal of concern to those who protect our privacy.

If Google loses the trust of Gmail users, they could suffer a huge decline in use of what has become a very popular product for them. And they may as well kiss the corporate Gmail program good bye. Which company will now trust Google with their data?

You may not be concerned, but I sure am.

Via SEW.

  • http://www.acorg.com MikeOK

    How about a blow to online storage in general?? What’s next, a search engine company that keeps no log information?? How about a “cover” for a search engine that does just that. And I still can’t believe that Google would keep personal emails after being deleted. That’s just asking for trouble. All I can say is “Can’s open, worms everywhere”

  • http://www.acorg.com MikeOK

    How about a blow to online storage in general?? What’s next, a search engine company that keeps no log information?? How about a “cover” for a search engine that does just that. And I still can’t believe that Google would keep personal emails after being deleted. That’s just asking for trouble. All I can say is “Can’s open, worms everywhere”

  • or

    From what I understand, don’t every online email service yahoo, aol, hotmail all keep emails after it has been deleted at least for a period of time? So this should not only be a concern of gmail. In fact, I believe other email services has been subpoened before, even though it was not widely publicized.

    While I agree that privacy is a concern, I don’t understand why attention is not placed on online storage practices in general. Currently, there are other companies that have more personal, crucial and confidential information even more than google.

  • http://blogometer.com/ Alan Gutierrez

    Only criminals?

    What about civil litigation?

    Please don’t tell me you’re leaving room for the “if they’ve got nothing to hide” argument.

  • MikeM

    People don’t care Andy. The average user has nothing to hide and understand their GMail is probably already being disseminated.
    Just look at the contextual ads on the side of your GMail account page.
    Yeah we all know it is automated but how often does it get a manual relevancy test?
    I use Gmail as do a few of my friends but none of us use it for bank or credit card purposes. I use it because I like the conversational feature.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/1685318 Andy Beal

    I think people will care, once they realize. Consumers have the habit of glossing over things until they become an issue to them. They didn’t care about dwindling oil supplies until gas went above $3.50 a gallon.

    Just look at the issue with the DOJ subpoena for Google search results. 65% of people don’t wont their searches monitored and 50% don’t won’t Google to hand them over.

    Comments posted above are right, this has been going on before. However, it’s appropriate that I have been reading the Tipping Point, because there has been a flurry of developments recently that could cause internet users to think again what they use online. A

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/317608 Jill

    This case happens to be about Gmail, but it could happen to anyone’s mail through any ISP or email service. Silly to call out gmail on this one. Could just as easily be comcast.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/1685318 Andy Beal

    This is about perception. Other search engines handed over search data to the DOJ yet everyone focused on Google. Google is different in that it has multiple services that retain user data.

    How many other ISPs keep deleted email data? I’d be interested to know.

    As I said, I know I sound alarmist, but Google is facing ever increasing pressure to share user info. If the public becomes concerned about their Gmail data, it could hurt Google. Regardless of whether other companies have the same policy – they are not as pervasive as Google.