Gmail isn’t too creepy
As I recently documented, I recieved a Gmail account last week. To my surprise and delight I’ve found that I love the interface and I’ve been using it a lot more than I thought I would.
However, this is not the stance that some people take regarding this new, free email service. A website entitled gmail-is-too-creepy.com has surfaced, arguing that Gmail doesn’t ever delete your email, uses your email to make Google ads better, reads your personal emails, and even works with the government! After reading this site, I searched for someone with a rebuttal to all these points, and thankfully I didn’t have to look long.
They’re coming to get me! (or, Why I Stopped Worrying and Learned To Love the Bomb) is an article posted to the Gmail Livejournal community as a rebuttal to gmail-is-too-creepy. The author’s main point is that the major web-based email services (Hotmail and Yahoo), along with ISPs that have spam filters, do some sort of email scanning. They have to if they are to find certain emails to be marked as spam! Likewise, Hotmail and Yahoo also don’t delete email completely because of the nature of deleting files; even when one deletes files from a hard drive, the files don’t completely disappear until they are overwritten by other data. As for the government being able to access your Gmail files, guess what – if it’s online, the government can access it using a utility called Carnivore.
All this stuff does creep me out, but I’m not about to start all-email-is-too-creepy.com. I’m not for government control over these sort of things at all, but I wanted to make a point that Gmail isn’t the only email service facing these accusations.
EDIT: Mugsy brings up the same points as noted in the Gmail LJ community. I’m glad to see I’m not the only person who thinks this way about this issue!