Google ordered to deactivate Gmail account after bank email error

Federal judge in California rules that Google must deactivate Gmail account that bank accidentally sent sensitive customer information to

A federal judge has ordered Google Inc. to deactivate a Gmail account after the employee of a Wyoming bank accidentally sent sensitive data on more than 1,000 customers to the account.

In granting Rocky Mountain Bank's motion for a temporary restraining order against Google, U.S. District Judge James Ware also ordered the search giant to disclose the status of the Gmail account, and to reveal the identity of the account holder if the account isn't dormant.

Rocky Mountain Bank sued Mountain View, Calif.-based Google after one of its employees mistakenly sent loan statements to the wrong Gmail account along with a file containing confidential information for 1,325 other customer accounts. The file contained names, addresses, tax identification numrs and loan information.

In documents filed in U.S. District Court in San Jose, Rocky Mountain Bank said it tried unsuccessfully to recall the email, then sent another email to the Gmail account, telling the recipient to delete the previous email without opening it. After getting no response, the bank asked Google whether the account was active and what could be done to ensure the sensitive customer information wasn't disclosed. Google told the bank it wouldn't provide any information about the account unless it was requested via a valid subpoena or other legal process.

In his ruling last week, Ware said Google also must disclose whether the inadvertent email was opened.

In court filings, Google said it complied with the judge's order. On Friday, attorneys for Google and Rocky Mountain Bank filed a request to cancel a hearing on the case, saying that they had resolved the dispute . They also said the temporary restraining order should be vacated, allowing the Gmail account to be reactivated so the user can access it.

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