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Email Privacy Regulations in US vs Europe

Written by Veldt Gold
Sep 24, 2021
Veldt Gold
Sep 24, 2021

Customer Data Protection

Customer data protection, specifically email privacy has become a major concern for most internet users worldwide during the recent years. Many countries still allow their email privacy regulations to be breached on a regular basis, thus exposing private communications between users in a way that can be detrimental to their freedom.

Email Privacy Regulations in the United States

There is no constitutional guarantee on email privacy or in fact correspondence in general in the US! Technically the secrecy of correspondence is derived from the Fourth Amendment and a US Supreme Court case dating back to 1877. Unfortunately some limitations exist, which include the fact that all rights derived through litigation are subject to interpretations, and there is also a matter of a legal requirement of a reasonable expectation of privacy. While the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 should protect email communications, it has received widespread criticism for failing to protect communications and consumer records because certain communications, such as emails stored on a third party’s server for more than 180 days (6 months) are considered abandoned, and can be obtained by a law enforcement agency via a written statement stating that the information is relevant to an investigation. No judicial review required! Most online email services including the most popular providers nowadays will store emails online forever! Law enforcement would require a seizure warrant to seize email communications stored on a user’s personal computer regardless of their age, but they do not need a warrant to seize emails older than 180 days stored on an online server.

Email Privacy Regulations Elsewhere

There is a constitutional guarantee of secrecy of correspondence in some countries, and email correspondence is equally protected from surveillance and screening as are letters sent in the mail. Furthermore, where electronic communication is concerned, everything is protected including the message itself, the sender, and the recipient.Our offshore email services provider is not required to keep logs of traffic data for any specific time period. They are required to keep their customers’ data confidential, and do not disclose any personal data without a local court order.