By Deane Barker on November 28, 2004

Gmail is too creepy: Will Google become the next Microsoft — great for the masses, but looked down upon by geeks?

Presumably you have a Gmail account, and do not object to Google’s policies. But many of us will not send mail to …Problem 1: Gmail is nearly immortal…

I touched on the some of the same issues here. I said:

Essentially GMail is a big bribe. Google is saying, “We know this system is creepy, but we give you one gigabyte of storage.” They’re counting on the fact that the downside of email scanning is offset by the generous storage limits. I guess it’s up to the consumer to decide if this is true.

On another note, have you finally arrived when a “[your name]” site hits the Net? When is launched, I’m buying a Lexus.



  1. Please correct me if I am wrong, but I have a yahoo email account and they have “targeted” ads as well. PLus when you read their privacy note, they tell you pretty much the same thing as google does.

    As for space, I was stuck with a whoping 6megs from Yahoo prior to gmail. A few months after gmail was released, low and behold, I now have 100s of megs. Funny how that works.

    I saw thank God for competition. ;-)

  2. I’ve got a gmail account that I use nearly exclusively, so I did make sure to read (most) all of the gmail related pages they had. All that time I kept thinking to myself that never, in the history of the modern internet, has anyone been anonymous. At the most basic level web servers log every page and graphic sent to an IP. Not to say that the author’s arguments aren’t valid – they very much are – but to single out google because it’s the biggest isn’t fair. Mark (see above comment) is right – Yahoo and M$ and all other ‘free’ services are just as ‘guilty’. I hate the excuse ‘everyone collects personal info so my website can too’ because the authors do bring up justifiable security risks, but there are some realiaties that you have to accept when accessing a free service – a company has to sell something or not exist at all. Would you use a search engine that had access to every website on the whole ‘net, up-to-date within seconds of realtime and produced results that were 99% related to just what you were searching for and collected no personal info and kept no logs, but added a .75 surcharge to the bill from your ISP everytime you used it? I guess my long-winded point is that Nothing Is Free, it’s all in how you’re willing to pay.

  3. Well and the point it the application is doing it. There isn’t a monkey analysising your email just to say “bob needs to see add 12”. It is all automajical. So I am not to worried about it. Plus is it much different then how the airline companies and banks have to share information with the government without you really know about it.

    At least google is honest about it. Also think of all the systems in the world that you use to access information about your accounts, etc… Don’t you think they are sharing data and have to look at it anyway. At least they have an SSL connection for the mail. :)

  4. I can see it now, the new targeted advertisement system.

    Google reads all of your email and designates and advertisement for each one, yeah right. The thing is, too many people use gmail for them to be reading all of your personal information and doing whatever it is you’d do with that information. There are simply too many users, and why would Google spend years and years setting up this world wide known search engine, just to release an email platform and take private information? I’m no pro, but I believe that all of this stuff in the TOS is just what other companies need to do, but won’t tell you… I mean, they’re Google, where would they go with all of that information? They already own the entire world


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