Rocky Mountain Bank sent your banking details to random Gmail account, got judge to shut it down

When Rocky Mountain Bank mistakenly sent banking info to the wrong email address, it demanded that Google tell them who owned this email address. Google: "No." How did Federal Judge James Ware respond? He ordered gmail to close the innocent gmail user's account. [TechDirt]

Deleting an account to delete a single email sent to it? It's not even the sort of thing one can map to useless "best justice money can buy" assumptions about the U.S. legal system. It's just plain stupid, a line of drool linking this clueless bench jockey's bottom lip to 1972's best guess about who should prevail when the interests of businesses conflict with those of the general public. This particular Judge, as you might imagine, has an interesting history.

Published by Rob Beschizza

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5 Comments

  1. The judge sounds like a real tool, although some of the different accounts of his action leave me wondering if “delete” is the same thing as “deactivate”, which might mean that the account would be locked instead of all the info deleted. Although it’s all moot if the point was to have this confidential info obliterated, since the account owner could have just printed it off or archived it.

  2. The judge sounds like a real tool, although some of the different accounts of his action leave me wondering if “delete” is the same thing as “deactivate”, which might mean that the account would be locked instead of all the info deleted. Although it’s all moot if the point was to have this confidential info obliterated, since the account owner could have just printed it off or archived it.

  3. Anyone have the judge’s address? I could accidentally mail him my bank account info and then make him have to move.

  4. I could understand a judge ordering the account be temporarily frozen, to prevent access to the data in the event that it had not yet been opened by the recipient.

    Possibly too little, too late, but it would be worth the fuss… and the inconvenience to the owner would be the lesser evil it if the data was kept from leaking. Any damages done to them as a result the bank should then be culpable for.

    Just bloody terminating the account, though? That’s majorly stupid.

  5. This post is seriously misguided. The judge granted what’s called a temporary restraining order, which by law lasts ten days until a hearing can be held. It’s meant to protect the status quo. The account was disabled, not deleted.

    Second, this is unequivocally the right result. A bank sends a shit ton of secret financial information to an unknown email address. The bank (and the judge, and Google) have a choice: let whoever is the recipient of that information do whatever they want with it, or shut the account down temporarily and try to stop the information from getting out.

    There’s no reason why tech/gadgets bloggers (even really good ones, like Rob) should have half a clue about the legal process. But they should keep in mind that they don’t have half a clue about the legal process.

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