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Google Mail :: Privacy issues?


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#1 Respree

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Posted 01 April 2004 - 10:44 AM

I read in the LA Times this morning, that Google is expected to announce the launch of its own web-based E-mail service today to about 1000 beta users, similar to the ones offered at Yahoo and MSN. It will be called "Gmail."

They will offer 1 gigabytes of storage space for free, significantly more than than Y!'s and MSN's paid service, which, if I can recall correctly, is a 50-60 MB limit.

This free service will be paid for by advertisements. Nothing unusual there.

However, one thing I found a bit disturbing though, was how targeted this advertisements will be. If you are sending an e-mail to your friend about buying a new car, guess what, you will see ads for, well, you guessed it "where to buy cars."

My first thought is "Google's reading my e-mails???" Anybody out there view this as an invasion of privacy? Of course, I completely understand that Google is not forcing anybody to sign up for the service, but I wonder if they will openly advertise the manner in which ads will be delivered to them.

Any opinions?

BTW, the article said it wil be made available to the general public within the next 3-6 months.

#2 NorthStar

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Posted 01 April 2004 - 02:40 PM

The large print giveth and the fine print taketh away, as Tom Waits once put it. Pay attention to those user agreements. Privacy is pretty much a thing of the past in the U.S. these days. Wait until Microsoft unveils its new search. There will be some privacy issues there. If they know you and how you think they can customize search to better meet your needs. How good do you want your search to be?

P.S. If this bothers you you might want to get rid of your Google Toolbar, if you have one.

#3 Mike521

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Posted 01 April 2004 - 02:54 PM

I read the press release by google for that and it looks like an april fool's joke to me.

The idea of the email is perfectly normal, but.. just read the press release and tell me if it sounds normal to you lol


http://www.google.co...srel/gmail.html

#4 Everyman

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Posted 01 April 2004 - 03:12 PM

The press release was overly cute, but it's not a joke. And yes, the privacy issues are real too.

From http://www.google.co...lp/privacy.html

"Email contents and usage. The contents of your Gmail account also are stored and maintained on Google servers in order to provide the service. Indeed, residual copies of email may remain on our systems, even after you have deleted them from your mailbox or after the termination of your account."

From http://www.google.co...rms_of_use.html

"You do, however, agree that Google may monitor, edit or disclose your personal information, including the content of your emails, if required to do so in order to comply with any valid legal process or governmental request (such as a search warrant, subpoena, statute, or court order), or as otherwise provided in these Terms of Use and the Gmail Privacy Policy. Personal information collected by Google may be stored and processed in the United States or any other country in which Google Inc. or its agents maintain facilities. By using Gmail, you consent to any such transfer of information outside of your country."

#5 Grumpus

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Posted 01 April 2004 - 03:12 PM

Most ISP's are providing Spam detection services nowadays. It looks at each mail and sees if it has a certain number of "flags" such as things like "click here to unsubscribe" in the message or certain word combinations and all that sort of stuff.

What google does is very similar. There's no one there reading your mail, it just looks for words and does it.

G.

#6 sanity

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Posted 01 April 2004 - 06:06 PM

Eek there is no way I would use a service like this:

From The Age:

Google's computers will scan emails to deliver targeted advertising.

No way. No how.

#7 ferret77

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Posted 06 April 2004 - 08:59 AM

do you guys really think people don't have access to emails when they are sitting on a hotmail or yahoo server

do you think becasue there is no search feature someone could not run reports on the hotmail database of emails

#8 BillSlawski

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Posted 06 April 2004 - 05:45 PM

This article is about Gmail, but it is also about the incredible number of servers at Google's disposal:

The Secret Source of Google's Power

It makes some good points about the sheer amount of computing capability available to Google.

#9 s3rg3ybr1n

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Posted 07 April 2004 - 03:12 AM

http://google-blog.d.../post.new/0092/

#10 NorthStar

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Posted 07 April 2004 - 03:28 PM

I thought this was very interesting and Danny brings up some great points in here:

http://www.clickz.co...cle.php/3336511

Right now it seems like there are lots of privacy issues that might be a hurdle but imagine if Google handed out enough free memory plus free e-mail to everyone to essentially become the country's/world's memory? Pretty scary but a wild idea.

#11 DianeV

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Posted 07 April 2004 - 03:32 PM

I have not yet figured out why I would store my email on someone else's server.

#12 Jean_Manco

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Posted 13 April 2004 - 04:25 AM

Google's Gmail could be blocked

Gmail, the free e-mail service from Google, could be facing strong legal opposition in California. Draft legislation is being drawn up by Democratic Senator Liz Figueroa, who calls Gmail "an invasion of privacy".





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