In a disturbing brief that was filed by Google's attorneys early last month, it seems like the company is covering themselves for any breach in privacy that might happen to you via Gmail.

In the filing, Google's attorneys say that Gmail users have no "legitimate" expectation of privacy, and “Just as a sender of a letter to a business colleague cannot be surprised that the recipient’s assistant opens the letter, people who use Web-based email today cannot be surprised if their emails are processed by the recipient’s [email provider] in the course of delivery.” 

Ouch. But, there's more: “A person has no legitimate expectation of privacy in information he voluntarily turns over to third parties.” 

So, if Google thinks that you have no legitimate expectation to privacy, how hard will they fight when the NSA comes knocking for your password-protected emails to your family?

John M. Simpson, a privacy director at Consumer Watchdog, thinks Google came out loud and clear when it comes to their views on privacy. Google has finally admitted they don’t respect privacy,” he said. “People should take them at their word; if you care about your email correspondents’ privacy don’t use Gmail.” 

"Google’s brief uses a wrong-headed analogy; sending an email is like giving a letter to the Post Office," he continued. "I expect the Post Office to deliver the letter based on the address written on the envelope. I don’t expect the mail carrier to open my letter and read it. Similarly when I send an email, I expect it to be delivered to the intended recipient with a Gmail account based on the email address; why would I expect its content will be intercepted by Google and read?”

Think about this the next time you sign in to Gmail.

[via The Inquistr]