Twenty-eight privacy and civil liberties organisations, including the World Privacy Forum and the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, have urged Google to suspend its Gmail plan until privacy concerns are addressed.
Google last week said it would launch its own free email service, but drew criticism from privacy groups when it revealed plans to scan incoming messages so that appropriate ads could be placed on the page.
In a letter to Google the privacy groups request the search engine to clarify its written information policies regarding data retention and data sharing among its business units.
"Google's proposed Gmail service and the practices and policies of its business units raise significant and troubling questions," it said.
The privacy advocates expressed concern that Google has not set specific limits of how long it will retain user account, email, and transactional data, and has not set clear written policies about data sharing.
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