This BBC article, arises from google discovering child porn in a user's email. For that we do have to be thankful. But later in the article we get to the crux of the matter and why I dislike these systems. (My bold):-
Google automatically scans email accounts to provide ads within Gmail, which has more than 400 million users worldwide.I don't have a problem with spam and malware detection which doesn't explicitly scan the content for meaning. Decent hosts also provide that but usually with some user control. But what that paragraph also says is my reason for staying clear.
In April, Google updated its terms and conditions to say: Our automated systems analyse your content (including emails) to provide you personally relevant product features, such as customised search results, tailored advertising, and spam and malware detection. This analysis occurs as the content is sent, received, and when it is stored.
This occurred after a class-action lawsuit against the company over email scanning was dismissed earlier this year. At the time, Google said that "a person has no legitimate expectation of privacy in information he voluntarily turns over to third parties".
Those T & Cs include other content as well as emails. Google docs etc. No thanks. No doubt much the same applies to other Cloud Storage services. What about confidential business data as well as individual privacy?
I accept that if google were not doing this, the offender would not have been caught. The principle is still wrong. It goes far beyond what the arguments are about governmental snooping and the records that have to be kept for them.
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"Where talent is a dwarf, self-esteem is a giant." - Jean-Antoine Petit-Senn.
Allergy information: This post was manufactured in an environment where nuts are present. It may include traces of understatement, litotes and humour.