Google has blocked access to a confidential Goldman Sachs email that was sent by mistake to a Gmail address. The financial company is now seeking a second court order to delete the message altogether from Google servers.
An external consultant was testing changes to an internal reporting and validation process and intended to send the email to a @gs.com address, but sent it to a @gmail.com address by mistake, Goldman Sachs said in court documents filed in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York.
The email, sent on June 23, contained “highly confidential” brokerage account and client-related information, Goldman Sachs said in the filing, but did not provide any additional details or how many clients would be impacted by the breach.
“Emergency relief is necessary to avoid the risk of inflicting a needless and massive privacy violation upon Goldman Sachs’s clients, and to avoid the risk of unnecessary reputational damage to Goldman Sachs,” Goldman Sachs wrote in the June 27 filing.
The investment bank initially sent an email to that Gmail address and requested the recipient delete the mail and confirm in writing the message was deleted. The recipient did not respond. The company then asked Google to block access, and the search giant said the request would need to follow a legal process, such as a court order or similar.
On July 2, Google blocked access to that message so that the unintended recipient wouldn’t be able to see the contents, Reuters reported. Google “has also notified us that the email account had not been accessed from the time the email was sent to the time Google blocked access. No client information has been breached,” Andrea Raphael, a Goldman Sachs spokesperson, told Reuters.
With the message blocked, Goldman Sachs is now requesting the email be permanently deleted. A member of Google’s Incident Response Team said deleting the message would also require a court order.
Google is increasingly being asked to remove content from its servers. This week, Google began receiving tens of thousands of requests from users exercising their “right to be forgotten” to de-index certain pages from European search results pages.