Home > All, Security Issues > The Next Web says everybody else is wrong; but guess what…

The Next Web says everybody else is wrong; but guess what…

Usually I like The Next Web. But this is a bit strange. It says that news reports give the wrong weight to something Google lawyers argue in a motion to dismiss a class action. TNW’s headline is, No, Google did not say that there is no privacy in Gmail.

Excuse me? That is, conceptually, exactly what Google said — and TNW proves it by reproducing the content:

Just as a sender of a letter to a business colleague cannot be surprised that the recipient’s assistant opens the letter, people who use web-based email today cannot be surprised if their communications are processed by the recipient’s ECS provider in the course of delivery. Indeed, “a person has no legitimate expectation of privacy in information he voluntarily turns over to third parties.” Smith v. Maryland, 442 U.S. 735, 743-44 (1979).

TNW misses off the legal reference, but then helpfully explains it. TNW then adds:

It’s technically accurate that Google used the quote in its legal defense, but using that fact to claim that Google has completely given up on user privacy is both sensational and disingenuous. The company is, after all, bound to its own privacy policy.

Whether Google is bound by its privacy policy or not doesn’t change the reports on what it said. And to accuse others of being disingenuous is a bit rich when TNW then omits Google’s next paragraph, which starts,

The same is true of email sent through an ECS provider…

So, TNW, I’m afraid you’ve got it wrong — that’s exactly what Google said, and exactly what Google meant.

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