Be Careful What You Give to Google

Lora Bentley

So many have raised privacy concerns with different Google offerings or policies.


Consumers didn't like Google Street View. Privacy advocates and regulators alike have been concerned with Google's cookie policy. Eyebrows raised when, in response to a court order, the search giant gave up the identity of a blogger charged with defamation. Just last week, a bank employee's Gmail account was deactivated after the employee inadvertently sent protected information to the wrong recipients. But the account was only deactivated after the bank sought a court order.


Why not round out this week with yet another shout-out against Google's privacy practices -- or lack thereof?


Writing for, Ryan Tate warns readers, "Any data you give to Google can and will be used against you." Even when you think an account is closed, think again. Google keeps copies, he says, and the company doesn't have a problem giving what it has to investigators who come calling. Case in point: former Bear Stearns manager Matthew Tannin. Tate writes:

Tannin may have shut down his [Gmail] account, but Google keeps backups, and the company provided government prosecutors with "a CD-ROM disk... of Mr. Tannin's e-mails from November 20, 2006 through August 12, 2007," according to the New York Times. The prosecutors are trying to prove fraud in the collapse of two hedge funds, managed in part by Tannin, and have been helped along by his personal e-mails.


Like my boss said when she showed me the story, this could be a very large nail in the Google Docs coffin.

Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Oct 11, 2009 4:57 AM anger management tips anger management tips  says:

That's not good news. Except that I'm not currently engaging in any kind of behavior that could get me into that kind of trouble.

Really anything that's stored on someone else's server has the possibility of being available forever to those with the power to ask for it.

Oct 13, 2009 10:45 AM Rob Rob  says:

All the instances mentioned involved a court order for this info.  Any company would hand it over.  If they didn't they would have had major legal problems of their own.


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