Google's New Email Service, Gmail, Under Fire for Privacy Concerns, Possible Wiretap Law Violations

Gmail has raised privacy concerns because users cannot opt out of having incoming emails scanned for keywords that Google then uses for content-targeted advertising. In addition, Google's Terms of Service admits that Gmail messages may remain on its system for an indefinite period -- even after an account has been deleted.

Google's Email Service 'Gmail' Sacrifices Privacy for Extra Storage Space

Consumers attracted by the extra server storage space that other free email services like Yahoo and Hotmail just can't offer, may not know that those benefits come at a high cost to their privacy. 

For instance: "Residual copies of email may remain on our systems, even after you have deleted them from your mailbox or after the termination of your account."

    PRC Portrayed in Lifetime Movie: Identity Theft - The Michelle Brown Story

    A few years ago a Southern California woman named Michelle Brown contacted the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse seeking help regarding an especially difficult identity theft situation. The thief obtained information provided by Michelle on a housing application and procured over $50,000 in goods and services including a lease for an apartment, a $32,000 truck, and liposuction. The thief also obtained a state- issued ID using Michelle's name and later engaged in drug smuggling for which she was arrested as Michelle.

    Spam E-mails Using PRC's Address

    It has come to our attention that spammers have been using the @privacyrights.org email address to send fake emails (spam). These emails do NOT come from PRC. They are forgeries. They will show the sender as a fake person that is NOT affiliated with PRC. The address will appear as FakeUser@privacyrights.org.

    Privacy Rights and the Marketing of Confidential Medical Information: Questions and Answers on the Case of the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (PRC) v. Albertsons

    Albertsons collects its customers’ confidential medical information by surreptitiously reviewing customer prescriptions - required to be kept confidential and used only as authorized by the patient - and creates a retrievable database including customer addresses, phone numbers and drug regimen. The information is made available for use to satisfy pharmaceutical companies willing to pay Albertsons to fulfill drug marketing objectives. The result is unsolicited mailings and/or phone calls directed at consumers attempting to convince them to buy more or different medications.

    Will I Be Able to Return That Unwanted Holiday Gift? The Retail Equation (formerly The Return Exchange)

    When a consumer wants to make a return, the retailer will swipe the person’s driver’s license (or other government-issued ID). As customers return merchandise, The Retail Equation compares variables such as return frequency, dollar amounts and/or time against a set of rules that form the retailer’s return policy. If you make repeated returns or exchanges to a specific merchant, you may not be able to do so again at a later date.

    RFID Position Statement of Consumer Privacy and Civil Liberties Organizations

    RFID tags are tiny computer chips connected to miniature antennae that can be affixed to physical objects. In the most commonly touted applications of RFID, the microchip contains an Electronic Product Code (EPC) with sufficient capacity to provide unique identifiers for all items produced worldwide. When an RFID reader emits a radio signal, tags in the vicinity respond by transmitting their stored data to the reader. While there are beneficial uses of RFID, some attributes of the technology could be deployed in ways that threaten privacy and civil liberties.

    Who Is Using Your Checkbook? FDIC Warns About Qchex.com

    While many consumers are scrambling to reduce their risk of identity theft, one business appears to be making it easier than ever to forge checks. Qchex.com allows customers to create checks without verifying the account holder's identity, according to authorities.

    Protect Your Cell Phone Records

    Most of us assume that our phone records are private. Despite mounting legal battles, information brokers on the Internet continue to offer the name and address connected to a cell phone number, an individual's phone number, even the complete record of outgoing and incoming phone calls.

    Why the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse Opposes California Proposition 69: “DNA Samples. Collection. Database. Funding. Initiative Statute”

    The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse is urging Californians to vote against an extremely troubling and misleading initiative in the upcoming November 2nd election. Proposition 69, called the “DNA Samples. Collection. Database. Funding. Initiative Statute” significantly expands the collection of DNA from convicted felons and from individuals who have been arrested.

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