“We do not disclose your personally identifying information to third parties unless we believe we are required to do so by law or have a good faith belief that such access, preservation or disclosure is reasonably necessary to… satisfy any applicable law, regulation, legal process or governmental request.” That last part — governmental request — is unclear and I’d like to see Google clarify what that means.
Personal I think its sloppy wording. I don’t think they’d turn over your email to the government’s tax department for example without a subpoena. But I would like to hear that defined in a clear statement from their executive.
This page might be helpful: http://gmail.google.com/gmail/help/more.html if you’re interested in examine their policy for yourself.