The judicial system has spoken in the case of the spreadsheet full of personal data accidentally e-mailed to a random Gmail user by an employee of Rocky Mountain Bank. Google must reveal the account holder’s identity, and the account has been deactivated.
Some lawyers say that [U.S. District Court Judge James] Ware’s order is problematic because it affects the Gmail account holder’s First Amendment rights to communicate online, as well as his or her privacy rights.
“It’s outrageous that the bank asked for this, and it’s outrageous that the court granted it,” says John Morris, general counsel at the Center for Democracy & Technology. “What right does the bank have and go suspend the email account of a completely innocent person?
Google insisted that they would need a court order in order to reveal the account holder’s information, and Judge Ware took the bank’s position that the recipient must be revealed in order to avoid…we’re not sure. This is akin to locking the barn door after the horse is already ten miles away.
Judge Orders Google To Deactivate User’s Gmail Account [MediaPost] (Thanks, April!)