Skip to comments.Man Jailed for Gmail Invite to Ex-Girlfriend
Posted on 01/10/2014 11:44:30 AM PST by rawhide
In what one expert on Internet privacy calls "a worst-case scenario," a Massachusetts man was jailed for sending his ex-girlfriend (who had a restraining order against him) an email invitation to join Google+.
But Thomas Gagnon contends he didn't send it;Google did,without his knowledge or consent.
When his ex-girlfriend received the invitation, according to the Salem News, she went to the police, complaining Gagnon had violated the restraining order by sending her the email. Police agreed and arrested him, the News reported.He was jailed then released on $500 bail.
Attorney Bradley Shear, an internationally recognized expert on Internet privacy, told ABC News it's entirely possible Gagnon is telling the truth --that he did not intentionally or knowingly send the invitation. "If he didn't send it--if Google sent it without his permission and he was jailed for it--Google could be facing major liability," Shear said.
Google+ allows users to aggregate their email contacts into various groups --school classmates, or professional associates or old flames. Moving a contact from one category to another, Shear explained, can trigger Google to send,automatically,an email to the contact inviting them to join Google+.
Shear pointed out a Google product forum from 2011 and 2012 titled "Prevent automatic email invitations to Google+?" that contains a number of angry complaints by Google+ users about the automatic invitation feature.
In response these complaints, a Google Community Manager calling herself "Natalie" responded:"Thanks for your feedback. Right now the emails that go out alert people of your activity on Google+, and more importantly the sharing of content with them. We send them an email when they aren't yet on Google+ so they know that you are out there in the world [of] G+. They should only incur this email once."
But once was all it took to land Gagnon in jail.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
I actually believe him! Facebook sends out crap like that and when I ask my friends why they keep inviting me to this or that function they say they did not do it. Makes sense when I get over 100 a day and for them to have just sat around and sent out invites? Dawg just pick up the phone and text message me!
Stupid is as stupid does.
I get all kinds of automated emails trying to get me to connect with people Google thinks I should know. They’re right, I do know them, but have no desire to get any closer to some of them. At a quick glance some of them do appear to come from the individual named. Sometimes there’s even a picture of that person. Yet I think it’s unlikely. (A law partner for example. He’s a friend of a friend. I’m sure he doesn’t actually want to connect with me.)
The delete button and spam blocker software usually works pretty well for me. Generally, any link sent without a subject line goes straight into my trash can.
I'm guessing the charges are going to be dismissed but somehow the guy won't get his $500 bond back. That's a win-win for law enforcement and the ex.
Facebook is horrible about stuff like that
Google will capture your profile pic and info and send invites all the time...forced networking...read the fine print on using their services...he’ll get off...if he pushes it...a simple Google+ reminder shouldn’t be used to arrest him - it should have been monitored by the police and G/F and a tally added up to see how many different ways he tried to contact her...
The “Linked-N” business networking service automatically does this too.
This will probably only cost him $25,000 in attorney fees to get him off.
I would like to see google and facebook pay out the wazoo for this kind of crap. It happens a lot (although often law enforcement catches what happened before accidentally jailing someone.)
The zombie side of Facebook.
This is why I quit LinkedIn. I became aware that for ALL members they were sending out “Do you know” BS junk mail and trying to trick me into uploading my contacts (ala ‘FB’) so they could do more.
Yes, I’m a web-anti-social; I like my privacy.
Confirmed. (& quit)
When you get a restraining order, erase every last thing connected to that person.
“I would like to see google and facebook pay out the wazoo for this kind of crap.”
Yeah but google didn’t make him act in such a way that there’s a restraining order on him.
If his story is true and he, reasonably, moved her address from friend to some other category, thus triggering the automatic email unbeknownst to him, what did he do wrong?
I can get a restraining order on anyone if I’m willing to lie to the police.
A person can get a restraining order for no reason at all. That’s a fact.
He's apparently now obeying the order.
Go ahead,fire away...."what a cold,heartless chauvinist pig you are".
He should get it back when he shows up for his appointed court date.
Me too. I deleted all my Google stuff....gmail, YouTube, the works.
LinkedIn not only constantly asks for entry into your address book but they also want to lift any and all email addresses from your email account. I still use LinkedIn but I’m very careful. There are hundreds of people in my email account I have no interest in being buddies with.