Posted by Kraig Baker

Declan McCullagh reports that the FTC issued a subpoena to Google for all contents of a user’s Gmail account, including deleted e-mails. The subpoena relates to a fraud claim. As more and more small businesses and independent contractors choose to use Google products to save money and to facilitate portability, few of them are thinking about the privacy and security implications of turning over control of these materials to Google — who may have markedly different interests when responding to the government or a party in litigation. It seems inevitable that we will continue to see subpoenas for not only search results and web-surfing results — issues where the user is using a third party provider to facilitate the use and, therefore, seems potentially public — but also for e-mail and stored files which feel different in kind to most people and, therefore, for which users will have a higher expectation of privacy.