Seems that Google has opened up a can of worms. Google alerted the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) when they detected that possible evidence of alleged child pornography being sent using a user’s Gmail account.
The NCMEC contacted the Houston police department who arrested a man previously convicted of sexual assault on possessing child pornography.
Not surprised there are two camps.
One camp saying it was good of Google to do this to get rid of pedophiles.
A second camp says while they despise pedophilia, a question of violating everyone’s right to privacy comes up.
Google’s Terms of Services states that “You may use our Services only as permitted by law, including applicable export and re-export control laws and regulations. We may suspend or stop providing our Services to you if you do not comply with our terms or policies or if we are investigating suspected misconduct…. we may review content to determine whether it is illegal or violates our policies, and we may remove or refuse to display content that we reasonably believe violates our policies or the law.”
As well, Google’s policies states that “we will share personal information with companies, organizations or individuals outside of Google if we have a good-faith belief that access, use, preservation or disclosure of the information is reasonably necessary to meet any applicable law, regulation, legal process or enforceable governmental request.”
So by using Google’s services, you are giving them the right to notify authorities if there are any illegal usage.
Most people by now know that Google reads all Emails electronically. They use it primarily for advertising purposes. [For example, if you have many messages related to dentistry, expect to see dentistry related ads more often than others.] But was this to be used for anything other than advertising purposes? They are electronically reading your Email –which could be anything from legal issues to financial issues.
David Drummond, the Chief Legal Officer of Google, hinted at the possibility of certain scanning algorithms “that trawl other platforms for known images” that are then verified as illegal content by human inspection on a web site last year.
Will the police come barging down your door if you say the word bomb a few times in an Email.
I am not saying other services are better or wouldn’t do this but at what point does something trump privacy?