As TelecomTV One reports, the revelation has angered European privacy organisations and regulatory bodies. Most annoyed is the German privacy regulator. Under Germany's stringent privacy laws the sort of eavesdropping to which Google has belatedly admitted is unequivocally illegal.
Commenting, Ilse Aigner, Germany's Minister of Consumer Protection said, “Based on the information we have before us, it seems that Google has illegally tapped into private networks in violation of German law.” - Johannes Caspar, the data protection supremo for the city of Hamburg, expressed similar outrage: “This is a data scandal of great magnitude. We are talking here about the large-scale collection of private data on individuals. We will take action to end this".
According to TelecomTV One, Google admits that - as the Street View vehicles recorded images to hard disk - they also kept details of websites being accessed by individuals and the content of email and other messages.
In regards to Google keeping emails this may only have posed a potential risk in regards to such messages which had not been encrypted. If emails had been encrypted by the sender, then such messages could not be interpreted and read if such had been – intentionally or accidentally – been intercepted. Therefore, users of secure email services using encryption technologies, such as Opolis Secure Mail, would not have been exposed.
With Opolis (http://www.opolis.eu) emails are point-to-point encrypted. So, even in the unlikely case that an Opolis email was intercepted, it could not be interpreted or read. Further, with Opolis the sender has always full authority over what the recipient is allowed to do with a message and is empowered to monitor and follow the entire path of a message. For example, the sender decides whether the recipient may copy, print, respond to or forward a message or not.
In essence: Users can do something to protect themselves in regards to sending and receiving emails and protect their privacy. Using encrypted email services is a powerful tool against any threat of privacy invasion.
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