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By Ahmad Faisal

Recently Google released their new terms of service for the very popular Gmail service. Though most people don't actually read these terms, maybe you should. Whether you are in favor of email scanning or not, you will learn Google's official position on the matter. The practice of email scanning is not new, it has been going on for quite some time, though now companies are starting to admit it to the public.

Most people don't even read the fine print, so they might not even be aware that this is happening. Google is now scanning messages both going in and out of your inbox. While some people might not be concerned, others might not want to continue using Gmail if they know this is happening. Hopefully, the word will get out to the people who don't bother to read Gmail's terms.

The update appears to stem from a California judge questioning the clarity of informed consent. She stated that the terms of service at the time did not go far enough to garner an informed consent from Gmail users.

It would seem that Google hasn't resolved every issue in question involving this matter. People who send email to Gmail users would have no way of knowing that their emails are being scanned by Google, as they do not receive the TOS updates.

Again, no matter which side of the debate you are on, Google has plainly stated it's intentions of scanning emails of their Gmail users, both outgoing and incoming. If you have not read the official terms of service yet, perhaps you should. The larger controversy lies with non-Gmail users who have no knowledge of these practices. Many people, though irate about it, simply chalk it up to more lost privacy as a result of the ever invasive Google.

According to the TOS, emails are scanned while they are on Google's own services, and also while they are in transit. The news has not been well received, with many privacy campaigners expressing anger at the perceived invasion of user privacy. In the United States, there have been several suits filed against Google, but the courts have declined to combine those suits into a single class action suit at this time.

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