Monday, October 19, 2015

Your E-mail is Not Private


Published: October 19, 2015

When you type up a racy e-mail to a loved one, do you consider the details private?

Most of us would probably say yes, even though such messages often end up filtered through intelligence agencies and service providers.

On the other hand, as the digital world becomes more personalized, consumers have begun to accept, appreciate and apparently requestrelevant connections between their online behavior and displayed advertisements.

It’s fairly commonplace now. Type camping gear into your browser, and for the next few weeks you’ll see online ads for shoes, stoves, shirts and even fashion accessories, all specially designed for camping.

But when you send an e-mail to a family member, or when you receive an e-mail from a friend, do you expect the same type of follow-on advertising as you do from internet searches?

Or do you expect some different level of privacy simply because the information is cloaked in an e-mail?

That’s the issue at stake in a pending lawsuit against Yahoo! Inc.

The case against Yahoo
Plaintiffs filed an e-mail privacy lawsuit against Yahoo in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California under several privacy laws, including the Stored Communications Act (SCA) — a federal law that prohibits an e-mail service provider from knowingly divulging to any person or entity the contents of a communication while in electronic storage.

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