The Gmail privacy issue – my €0.02

Given the plethora of opinions on the subject – like those of the broadly welcoming Tim O’Reilly and the largely naive ‘gmail-is-too-creepy’ folks over at Public Information Research Inc. I will keep this brief.

If you have major privacy issues, you perhaps shouldn’t be using email. At all. Ever. Or the internet. Or a debit card. Or a library. Or a health service.

Common or garden email is by definition insecure, not particularly private and leaves bits of your life all over the place. Just run a traceroute to your mail server and count the hops to get there. What makes me hoot is that the PIR Inc. folks above have thrown up a whole anti-scary advertising-supported web-based email site with the obligatory ‘About Us’ page…with a Yahoo email address! That’s Yahoo. Who’ve just increased their mailbox size to compete with Gmail. And also scan email. And also target advertising on their Group emails. And display this message:

I rest my case.

As for me, I think it looks nicer than many GUIs, has some good features which I’ll use and some I probably won’t. More than likely, I’ll use it for maillist/forum stuff and the like as does my friend Pocket Goddess, who has written a fair and balanced appraisal of the service here.

One Response to “The Gmail privacy issue – my €0.02”

  1. Emchi says:

    You should try hush then. It’s worth paying for, a little slow, but with 128b encryption you can’t really go wrong.


    PS managed to leave my phone at work so I’ve only just got your message, will give you a call this evening :o)

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