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A data breach with a twist

The info is out there somewhere, but the question is where

By Paul McNamara on Tue, 09/22/09 - 1:14pm.

An employee at a Wyoming bank screws up and sends a bunch of confidential customer information to the wrong Gmail account. When the inadvertent recipient fails to even acknowledge a subsequent "please delete that" plea from the bank, the bank sues Google to force the company to cough up the recipient's contact information.

(2009's 25 Geekiest 25th Anniversaries)

From Wired: "Google said it wouldn't comply without a court order, and even if it does receive a court order, its policy is to notify an account holder and give the person a chance to object to the disclosure of his or her identity. The court is considering the bank's request."

It's easy to appreciate the bank's predicament here.

What's much less clear is why it should be Google's problem.

And it's very difficult for me to understand why a judge should drag the unknown Gmail user into the middle of this mess.

(Update: Don't miss the comments on this post below; it's a spirited debate.)

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