Feeds

California Senator seeks Google Gmail ban

The regulators are coming

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

A California state senator is planning to introduce legislation to block Google's Gmail service. Liz Figueroa says that the 'free' email service, which users pay for by tolerating advertisements injected into their correspondence, violates the assumption that emails are private. Figueroa introduced Do Not Call legislation into the state Senate and said she was concerned by Google's data retention policies and has asked the company to "rethink the whole product".

Many view regulation as inevitable for search engines, as they provide such a powerful public gateway to information. In the United States the Federal Communications Commission regulates radio and TV, and the Federal Trade Commission regulates telemarketing; and critics wonder how else a dominant search engine can be asked to fulfil its obligations of transparency and accountability. But few can have expected that the first significant attempt to regulate Google would focus on one of its ancillary services.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation last week recommended that users delete their Google cookie on a regular basis. Google brushed aside a fierce internal debate about privacy concerns to announce the service with a jokey press release on 1 April. A poorly-worded privacy rider warned users that email would linger on the servers even after a user had closed the account. Accident-prone co-founder Larry Page then poured oil on the fire by refusing to rule out cross-linking a user's search history with the email.

Ironically, Google may have brought the legislation upon itself with its cavalier attitude to the democratically-elected representative for Fremont. Senator Figueroa said she wrote to the company on 8 April and didn't receive a reply. Google prefers its own definition of the word: touting the "uniquely democratic nature" of the Web. ®

Related stories

Germans garotte Google Gmail over privacy
Google's Gmail hits trademark problem
Big Brother nominated for Google Award
Google mail is evil privacy advocates
Google launches email, takes the Bill Gates defense
Avoid Friendster and its clones, warns security expert
Google revives discredited Microsoft privacy policy for Friendster clone
Security bugs floor Google's Friendster-clone

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
Bose says today IS F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.