Ossian Law P.C.
IT Law Alert July 15, 2014

The Foibles of Misdirected Email: The potential for sending an email message to the wrong person is ever present. Functions like auto-loading of addresses and auto- correct, while convenient, can lead to misdirected messages. So can simply inputting the wrong address. The recent experience of a Goldman Sachs consultant illustrates the possible ramifications of misdirected email.

In June, 2014, a Goldman Sachs consultant meant to send an email containing “account and client-related information” to a Goldman Sachs representative at [first name][last name]@gs.com. Instead, he mistakenly sent the message to [first name] [last name]@gmail.com. Upon discovering the problem, Goldman Sachs contacted Google and asked that the email be deleted. Google responded that Goldman Sachs needed to get a court order before Google would delete the message. Goldman Sachs then filed suit in New York state court.

Ultimately, Google agreed to block the message, citing that the Gmail account had not been accessed in a number of years. Fortunately for Goldman Sachs, the confidential client information was not further disseminated. A copy of the Goldman Sachs complaint is available here.

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