California Senate votes to restrict…

California Senate votes to restrict Google’s Gmail

California’s Senate voted on Thursday to support a bill to limit a new e-mail service by No. 1 Web search company, Google Inc., over concerns it could threaten the privacy of users.

Google had intended the service to scan e-mail for key words and concepts and use them to place targeted advertisements in personal messages.

The bill by Democratic state Sen. Liz Figueroa would require Gmail to work only in real-time and would bar the service from producing records.

The bill also would bar Gmail from collecting personal information from emails and giving any information to third parties.

This is the crucial part. Google is not allowed to store what they know about you and your email in a database, which could then be accessed by, well, whoever they might sell the information to – or by Homeland Security for that matter. Google, it is said, never deletes any information it has gathered, ever.

It’ll be interesting to see if Google continues to be the new, forward-looking, “different” company they appear to be or if they go old school and instead swarm Sacramento with lobbyists trying to derail the bill.