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Goldman Sachs taking legal action against Google to retrieve a misaddressed email [Update: Google complied]


Image via Reuters

Update: The WSJ reports that Google agreed to block access to the email, and advised that it had not been read

According to a new report from Reuters, investment banking firm Goldman Sachs is taking legal action against Google over an email that it accidentally sent to the wrong address. The report claims that a Goldman Sachs employee was sending an email, but instead of putting the correct ending, the employee put, which in turn caused the email to be sent to a total stranger.

While normal people do this all of the time, Goldman Sachs says that this email contained private client data that could cause a “needless and massive privacy violation.” The privacy breach would be so big, apparently, that Goldman Sachs has taken to the New York Supreme Court for assistance. Google says it is willing to comply with Goldman Sachs, as long as it can get a court order. Goldman Sachs says it initially went to Google’s “incident response team” for assistance, but it told them that they must have a court order to delete an email.

In a statement, the investment bank had the following to say:

“Emergency relief is necessary to avoid the risk of inflicting a needless and massive privacy violation upon Goldman Sachs’ clients, and to avoid the risk of unnecessary reputational damage to Goldman Sachs. By contrast, Google faces little more than the minor inconvenience of intercepting a single email – an email that was indisputably sent in error.”

It’s unclear what exact data was in the misaddressed email, but whatever it is must be very valuable if Goldman Sachs is willing to go this far to get it retrieved.

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Avatar for Chance Miller Chance Miller


Chance currently writes for both 9to5Google and 9to5Mac, in addition to 9to5Toys.