Privacy advocates also regard the lack of disclosed data retention and correlation policies as problematic. Google has the ability to combine information contained in a person's e-mail messages with information from Internet searches. Google has not confirmed how long such information is kept or how it can be used. One of the concerns is that it could be of interest to law enforcement agencies. More than 30 privacy and civil liberties organizations have urged Google to suspend Gmail service until these issues are resolved.
Google defends its position by citing their use of email-scanning to the user's benefit. Google states that Gmail refrains from displaying ads next to potentially sensitive messages such as those that mention tragedy, catastrophe, or death.
Gmail accounts of human rights activists in China were hacked in a sophisticated attack in late 2009. The fact that Gmail stores, analyzes and retains user's email contents makes Gmail an attractive target for such attacks.
The launch of Google Buzz as an opt-out social network immediately drew criticism for violating user privacy because it automatically allowed Gmail users' contacts to view their other contacts.
hiker1000 wrote:My question. Is there no option for turning off emailing of passwords and user IDs for new users? This would have to be an option, right.
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