GMail raises concerns
An international coalition of privacy and civil liberty organisations have signed an open letter to Google urging the company to suspend its Gmail service until the privacy issues are adequately addressed. EDRI-members Privacy International, FIPR and Bits of Freedom have signed the letter.
Gmail is a free web-mail service that will scan the contents of e-mail in order to present targeted advertisements based on keywords in the e-mail text.
The international coalition is concerned about the unlimited period for data retention that Gmail proposes and the lack of clear policies about its data sharing between business units. Gmail sets potentially dangerous precedents and establishes reduced expectations of privacy in email communications that may be adopted by other companies and governments for many years after Google is gone.
An Open Letter to Google Regarding Its Proposed Gmail Service (06.04.2004) http://www.worldprivacyforum.org/gmailrelease.pdf