California senator Liz Figueroa, who was behind the successful Do Not Call legislation that hampered telephone marketers, called Gmail “an invasion of privacy”. She is drawing up a law that could block the scheme or force Google to overhaul its offering.
“We are asking them to rethink the whole product. It’s like having a massive billboard in the middle of your home,” she said.
Dozens of privacy campaign groups in the US and Europe have lodged complaints against Google, arguing that Gmail may break the law because messages are stored where users cannot delete them.