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Goldman Sachs loses important financial data, blames a contractor and orders Google to bail it out

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has asked a US judge to order Google to delete a confidential email that was accidentally sent to a stranger's Gmail account.

The email, which was leaked on 23 June, is said to contain "highly confidential brokerage account information" and should be deleted to avoid a "needless and massive" breach of security.

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Goldman did not reveal how many clients were affected and is asking for Google's help in identifying anyone who may have accessed the information.

It added that Google "appears willing to cooperate" if a court order is obtained.

According to Goldman, the email was sent by an outside contractor who had been testing changes to the bank's internal processes regarding new reporting requirements put in place by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

The bank has, so far, not been able to retrieve the report or get in contact with the Gmail account holder.

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In a statement, the New York-based bank said, "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.

"By contrast, Google faces little more than the minor inconvenience of intercepting a single email - an email that was indisputably sent in error."