File this under: If you have enough money, you can get whatever you want from anyone.
Goldman Sachs sent an email to the wrong email address. Instead of sending the email to, say, email@example.com, the employee at Goldman Sachs sent the email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Sort of the same, but not.
Just about everyone has done that, right? Unfortunately, this email contained brokerage information. Wooops! But, not to worry. Unlike the rest of us, who have to suffer the consequences of our actions, Goldman Sachs sued Google.
Goldman Sachs was able to get a court to order Google to block the email account holder’s access to the email. The claim supporting the application for the court order is that one of Goldman Sach’s clients will suffer a privacy violation and the company will suffer reputational damage.
Huh. Who would have thought that argument would prevail. But that’s where money makes all the difference. If the email was a misdirected beaudoir picture and the sender a a married woman, I wonder if the court would have been as willing to grant the order and if Google so willing to comply. Being the skeptical sort, I doubt it. You can bet your bottom dollar that I will absolutely try.
Next time I have a client who sends an email to the wrong email address and there’s a potential “privacy violation and reputational damage” at risk, I’m advising the Goldman Sachs court order course of action. I’ll let you know how it works out.