All on-line services by all companies must do some form of scanning to some extent, how else would your data get sent from one person to another or checked for viruses.
The problem is not that organisations process data, but how and why they process data. You first suggested Goggle does not scan data in order to serve up Ad's. In fact, their own product suggests they do, it's just that in that context, you can turn off the actual ads. That's a little different from a company processing an email address to send an email, or scanning a file and trying to match some heuristic function against a 'threat'. If I send an email, I'm OK with ISP's processing the data to look up the MX record on the recipient domain, If I've opted in to AV, I'm OK with them processing incoming email to flag it as a virus. I'm not sure why I would be Ok with them noting from the email that I used a Bosch Planer to remove my fingertip and because they have cleverly combined data between accounts, then serving power tool ads to me on accounts where I can't opt out of ads.
That is the thorny issue, the combining of data. If you use Google Apps and your staff or students buy a nice sexy Nexus 7 and set it up using credentials you have issued them as part of their schooling or employment, is the data Google then collects covered under your DPR or theirs? I know that the process can collect my Wi-Fi password. If I make a request of my employer under the terms of the DPA, should I get that back? Google has it against an account that is under your schools control. Why shouldn't I?
The document you linked to was very big on ownership of data. *You Own Your Data*. That is nice but not the problem. I know I own content I create - that's enshrined in copyright law. The problem with Google is in your granting them rights in relation to that content, by using their services. When our students log on for the first time they have to accept Googles legal T&C's. Is it right to ask a year 7 to do that? They ain't simple nor are they even transparent and yet we encourage children to just click "I Accept".
It'll all be OK, everyone is doing it.
Last edited by pcstru; 16th December 2013 at 06:55 PM.