Saturday, March 18, 2006

US Judge Rules - Google does not have to hand over data

Fortunately the judge in the subpoena case Google vs US Government has ruled that Google does not have to hand over the search data of 100,000 users or whatever they wanted, and instead only 50,000 random URLs. Google claims this sets a legal precedent which protects its search results. Although this precedent has no effect over here in the UK, it does mean that Google's not going to get into the habit of giving away its search information.

More alarmingly, however, another judge in America has ruled that the entire contents of a Gmail account, including deleted items, must be given to the court. The lawyer for the owner of the account did manage to reduce that to emails which did not contain information which was too personal, but I would much rather that my Gmail account was not open to anyone getting emails out of it other than me. Unlike the previous judgement, I imagine this does affect UK users, as the data is held under the US, and so its disclosure is probably covered under US law rather than the law of the originating country. I could be wrong though.

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