Google has agreed to block access to an email containing confidential client data that a Goldman Sachs contractor sent to a stranger's Gmail account by mistake, an error that the bank said threatened a "needless and massive" breach of privacy.
The breach, which occured in late June, included "highly confidential brokerage account information," as first reported yesterday.
Goldman did not say how many clients were affected. It had been seeking a court order compelling Google to delete the email.
“Google complied with our request that it block access to the email,” Goldman spokeswoman Andrea Raphael said.
“It 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.”
A Google spokeswoman declined to comment.
According to Goldman, the contractor had been testing changes to the bank's internal processes in connection with reporting requirements set forth by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
Goldman said the contractor meant to email her report, which contained the client data, to a gs.com account, but instead sent it to a similarly named, unrelated gmail.com account.
The bank said a member of Google's "incident response team" reported on June 26 that the email could not be deleted without a court order.
"Emergency relief is necessary to avoid the risk of inflicting a needless and massive privacy violation upon Goldman Sachs' clients, and to avoid the risk of unnecessary reputational damage to Goldman Sachs," the bank said in court papers.