Google: Gmail users shouldn’t expect email privacy

Exquisite-gmail blue
Exquisite-gmail blue (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I ran across this today:

Gmail users have no “reasonable expectation” that their emails are confidential, Google has said in a court filing.

The media is acting like this is big news.  Should Gmail users expect their emails to be confidential?  Should any email user expect their email to be confidential?

In a world where everything is good, warm and fuzzy, we would like to think that an email typed on our computer then sent around the country if not around the world through hundreds of servers and in some instances through the very air we breathe before reaching its intended destination would remain positively confidential.  Even if said email did reach the recipient without being intercepted, you would still have to rely on the recipient to keep your email confidential, not only by keeping his mouth shut, but also by resisting the urge to hit the forward button.

As a wise friend once said, “Don’t put anything in print you don’t want the world to see.”

What a different world it would be if we would all live by that advice.  How many feelings have been hurt and relationships destroyed through careless words  typed in an angry email–words we’d be ashamed for the world (our friends, neighbors, relatives, etc.) to see?

In today’s electronic and digital age, we should not assume that anything is confidential.  Instead, we should assume and live by the very opposite.

By Lori Camper

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