It can happen to any of us — even Goldman Sachs.
"Apparently, Google is trying to block access to an e-mail that contained confidential client data that a contractor of Goldman sent to a stranger's Gmail account by mistake." (Via CNBC)
And now, the investment bank is desperately trying to get Google, which operates Gmail, to delete that misdirected message permanently. (Via Flickr / Carlos Luna)
CNET reports it all started June 23, when a Goldman contractor accidentally sent a report containing "highly confidential brokerage account information" to a complete stranger.
The Verge says the unidentified contractor meant to send the email to someone with an @gs.com address. But instead, she sent it to an @gmail.com address.
Goldman Sachs attempted to contact the accidental recipient but didn't get a response. And that's when it seems the panic set in.
The investment bank made headlines when it sought a court order from the New York State Supreme Court to block any access to the email. That order was reportedly granted, and Google obeyed. (Via Ars Technica)
But PCWorld reports that wasn't enough for Goldman. The company said in a court filing it is now trying to get the email deleted for good. "Emergency relief is necessary to avoid the risk of inflicting a needless and massive privacy violation upon Goldman Sachs's clients, and to avoid the risk of unnecessary reputational damage to Goldman Sachs."
Apparently, Google is willing to comply with Goldman Sachs — so long as the investment bank has a court order to back it up.
A writer for CNET says this is a smart move on Google's part. "It's also paramount that Google not tarnish its relationship with users, who trust the company to not only abide by the law but to also put privacy first. Snooping on and then deleting emails in a Gmail user's inbox, regardless of the content of those messages, without appropriate legal permission would undermine that."
It's unclear how many of Goldman's clients were affected by the accidental disclosure of the email.