Monday, April 05, 2004

new Gmail issue, may violate european privacy law

More on the Google Gmail privacy issue on CNNmoney. The article suggests that Google's new email service, Gmail, will violate european privacy laws, which are more strict than those in the US. The main concern appears to be that "residual copies of email may remain on our systems, even after you have deleted them from your mailbox or after the termination of your account, Google's Gmail says in its privacy and terms of use sections." That does seem strange, but my impression is that a copy of an email is saved on every router or server that it passes through on its way to the recipient anyway. If Google is actually saving the mail on their own system after users have deleted them that is cause for concern. I think they will owe an explantation, why would they save your old email for themselves?

I'll note that this summer at my internship I will, if all goes according to plan, be working on comparitive internet privacy law - comparing US and european law. I'll know the answer to this problem for sure by the end of this summer!


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