Google shuts down Gmail account because of bank mistake

CNet News reports that Google has recently been ordered to deactivate a Gmail account that has received a misdirected email with sensitive information from a bank in Wyoming.

The email in question contained names, addresses, SS numbers and loan information on 1,300 customers, and was followed by another email from the same bank asking the account owner to disregard and delete the previous message and contact the bank to confirm he did it. Since it hasn’t been done, the bank has contacted Google and asked them to deactivate the account.

Google said they are willing to it only if they get a court order. And they did it, confirming in the process that the email in question hasn’t been opened, and that it is now destroyed.

Everything has, then, been resolved satisfactorily for all parties involved, except the owner of the Gmail account. Yes, Google has been allowed to re-instate the account, but who knows what kind of information the owner said account lost during the procedure?

Another thing that should bother every client of the Rocky Mountain Bank – they send sensitive information like that via email, unencrypted? Let’s hope other banks have better sense and practices.

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