Friday, January 10, 2014

Google's automatic email invitation causes man to be jailed for violating restraining order

abc news   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.[...]

Shear noted: "Google is going through every one of your contacts and sending them an invitation, whether it's your doctor, your lawyer, your mistress, or your ex-fiancee who's got a restraining order against you." 

He called this, "a perfect example of what happens when a company oversteps its bounds."


  1. Honestly, whether Google should or shouldn't be (or even are) sending these automatic invites, that is not the problem. The problem is sending someone to jail for sending an e-vite, even deliberately. That, quite frankly, is ridiculous.

    1. He was not arrested for sending an email. He was arrested for violating a restraining order.

    2. It's pathetic that a restraining order can be read to preclude sending an invitation.

    3. It is pathetic that this loser couldn't bring himself to delete her contact information from his email list.

      Why did he keep her info in his phone book when he couldn't legally contact her?

      I don't know the reason she was granted a restraining order but normal people don't need to be told by a judge to stop contacting someone who doesn't want to be contacted.


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