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Is Google to be trusted?
June 10, 2004 1:36 PM   Subscribe

Gmail is too Creepy "Dear Gmail user: Due to privacy considerations, we cannot respond unless you resend your email from a different account."
posted by o2b (53 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Well, we already knew you should never send email you wouldn't want your mother (or your Uncle Sam) to see. What's different now?
posted by jfuller at 5:34 PM on June 10, 2004


Does this mean the wait list over in the gmail invite ask.me thread is going to get shorter?

/me is still waiting patiently for her turn, even if it is creepy.
posted by jacquilynne at 5:42 PM on June 10, 2004


Help me Congress! Save me from my fear of the thing I don't know enough about!

/rinse, repeat
posted by PrinceValium at 5:45 PM on June 10, 2004


Just a question to current Gmail users (if any is around)

1) can one delete a mail sitting in gmail box ?

2) when you signed the email account you probably also agreed to a number of conditions (legalese stuff you know). Did you notice if google is reserving (directly or indirectly) the right to keep data/the body of the message/ on your mail AFTER you deleted it ?
posted by elpapacito at 5:46 PM on June 10, 2004


More tin-foil-hat foolishness from the search engine spammer that runs google-watch.

Also -- as if Yahoo mail and Hotmail don't the exact same things, and have for several years now? Please.
posted by mathowie at 6:06 PM on June 10, 2004


elpapacito -
(1) you do indeed have a "Delete for Ever" option.
(2) what is the relevence of them being able to somehow "keep" deleted messages? If it's deleted, you can't see it. If you can't see it, Google can't attach ads to it. If Google can't attach ads to it, why would they need to read / keep it?

I do not understand the "privacy" concerns regarding gmail. Mail is "read" by a machine in order to automatically attach ads to it - no human intervention whatsoever, and no sharing of information with third parties. If some human at Google should want to read your email illegally, it's no less safe than on any other email provider on the planet.
posted by Jimbob at 6:08 PM on June 10, 2004




What is this supposed to mean? That the purpose of evolution is to discuss the Gold Rush and 80's fads via Gmail?
posted by DaShiv at 6:14 PM on June 10, 2004


yawn. get over it. if you think you really have any amount of privacy on Teh Interweb anyway, you're horribly deluded.

anyway, here's the official word
posted by dvdgee at 6:15 PM on June 10, 2004


I PAID FOR THIS MICROPHONE
posted by crunchburger at 6:28 PM on June 10, 2004


Someone's pissed that no one gave them an invite.
posted by adampsyche at 6:32 PM on June 10, 2004


Yours is en route, jacquilynne. That thread was way too messy by the time I got to it.
posted by scarabic at 6:34 PM on June 10, 2004


I do not understand the "privacy" concerns regarding gmail. Mail is "read" by a machine in order to automatically attach ads to it - no human intervention whatsoever, and no sharing of information with third parties. If some human at Google should want to read your email illegally, it's no less safe than on any other email provider on the planet.

precisely. any isp or web mail provider that claims to protect you from spam has to "read" your email in exactly the same way that gmail does.
posted by juv3nal at 6:49 PM on June 10, 2004


I have a creepy gmail account. I like my creepy gmail account. It holds creepy amounts of email. It makes searching them so that it's scary.

I think they're just jealous that nobody invited them to join yet.
posted by mosch at 7:05 PM on June 10, 2004


Offering songs or services (poetry/stories, hand-written letters and art, web-design, community, you name it) for a gmail account. misty at incandesce dot net if you have an extra invite lying around. Thank you. :(
posted by precocious at 7:05 PM on June 10, 2004


Gmail is not the problem, but people will always be suspicious of new hyped-up ponies that promise much. As well they should be. The questions can and should be asked, but as long as they're being answered, then at least there's something to address. Google's been better than the other big webmail-for-ads at attempting transparency, even though (and this fact seems to get lost in all the back-and-forth) Gmail hasn't gone public yet, and won't go soon.

They're still working it out. And I have no doubt whatsoever they're listening to all the privacy concerns.
posted by chicobangs at 7:25 PM on June 10, 2004


Hm. Star Trek fanfic, college homework assignments, and irate e-mails from my ex-girlfriend who I still haven't returned her MST3K tape to. I don't have a gmail account yet, but if I did, I wouldn't mind them reading it. I might take up writing porn again if it means getting an audience (even if it consists solely of bored and lonely e-mail admins).
posted by Potloaf at 7:26 PM on June 10, 2004


Why do Gmail threads always turn into grovelfests? </pretends he never did any groveling for a Gmail account>

Precocious, check your email. Sorry folks, last invite left.
posted by DaShiv at 7:45 PM on June 10, 2004


I'm not above a little groveling.

I'll draw somebody a picture of a robot for a gmail account. It's a pretty nice robot.
posted by hughbot at 7:53 PM on June 10, 2004


There is privacy on the web and its done with encryption. Now I wonder if google's new "we read your email and make money with ads" model will put more barriers to entry on encrypted communications.

Google can't read encrypted emails thus they can't serve you an ad.

That's my fear; if this business model catches on then "encryption for the masses" may never happen. Even though it would neatly solve most privacy and spam problems.

Perhaps yahoo and hotmail are going to bust their assess to implement a nice cross platform encryption scheme to compete with google.
posted by skallas at 7:53 PM on June 10, 2004


Ha! It was a cheap, totally transparent ploy and yet it worked splendidly! I've got the G! Thanks scarabic! Along with the G seems to have come an overwhelming supply of exclamation points! Maybe that's part of Gmails creepy power!
posted by jacquilynne at 8:01 PM on June 10, 2004


Google can't read encrypted emails thus they can't serve you an ad.

It's up to the user to encrypt their email - Google can't prevent it, can they?
posted by Jimbob at 8:03 PM on June 10, 2004


I know a lot of people are critical of the sale of gmail accounts, but since I haven't been able to afford lunch for 2 weeks yet have had a fairly steady stream of invites, the choice seemed clear.

I wouldn't (couldn't) have paid for mine, but the fact that other people are willing made it possible for me to live my life with groceries for the week. Hurray for knowing a google employee, everyone should.

And btw, the google employee I know is single and sweet and lonely - any takers in the bay area? You'd have all the invtes you wanted!
posted by u.n. owen at 8:18 PM on June 10, 2004


it's no less safe than on any other email provider on the planet.

Not quite true. With hotmail, for example, you know users are:

(1) cramped for space, and will probably throw things out

(2) if they don't log in in a month, hotmail will throw everything out (at least, they did this to me once. Jerks.)

GMail allows and even encourages a new level of email persistence.

Of course, the biggest danger is the recipient themselves, so...
posted by weston at 8:34 PM on June 10, 2004


i have not decided if i want/need a gmail account.
posted by bargle at 9:06 PM on June 10, 2004


I'm not above begging. I'll grovel for a gmail account. I'll trade my soul. anyone have an extra invite? pretty please?
posted by Grod at 9:07 PM on June 10, 2004


i will also grovel for a gmail account, but i don't know if i'd go as far as trading my soul. i, for one, am not about to screw up my relationship with automatic doors...
posted by joedan at 9:43 PM on June 10, 2004


elpapacito - here's the agreement you sign when signing up for a gmail account
posted by t r a c y at 9:43 PM on June 10, 2004


Oh, trading a soul? No problem -- one used, tattered, and stained soul here in exchange for a gmail invite.
posted by esoterica at 10:14 PM on June 10, 2004


I got a Gmail account and signed up as tinkywinky, so I'm feeling pretty safe.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 10:21 PM on June 10, 2004



It might just be my imagination, but a lot of sites I've tried to join have suddenly stopped sending return emails to this mob as well.

Bugger.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 11:01 PM on June 10, 2004


What's a guy got to do in this town to get a Gmail account? Anything legal considered.
posted by muckybob at 11:48 PM on June 10, 2004


I'll draw somebody a picture of a robot for a gmail account. It's a pretty nice robot.

I'll see your robot and raise you an amusing monkey. Who'll trade me a lovely picture of a monkey for a gmail account?

Anyone?
posted by reklaw at 12:15 AM on June 11, 2004


Ermmm. I'll up your monkey and trade an account for ... ermm .... a badly taken digital photograph of a tree. ermm.
posted by seanyboy at 12:30 AM on June 11, 2004


WITTIEST REMARK WINS GMAIL ACCOUNT!!!

(i have 2 invites)
posted by Satapher at 12:44 AM on June 11, 2004


Trade ya for a Mailinator account?
posted by arto at 2:44 AM on June 11, 2004


Satapher: A pick up line for a nerd girl


You: Excuse me Miss, are you google?

Girl: Why?

You: Cause I've been searching for you


ZING!
posted by BackwardsHatClub at 3:57 AM on June 11, 2004


Satapher, please hope me!

All your gmail accounts are belong to us.
posted by AwkwardPause at 4:25 AM on June 11, 2004


this whole begging for gmail accounts is *really* starting to creep me out now...

What's the attraction of having a 1Gb albatross around your neck, with matching contextual text-ad accessories? Why do you want to keep 1Gb of emails? This is craziness...

Soon i foresee a documentary being financed called "Super Size Inbox" which will explore the lifestyle issues surrounding adorable early adopters drowning in their own digital effluent, lost in an endless looping haze of photoshop funnies and transcripts of battles won with anonymous avatars...

This corollary of Sturgeon's Law well applies: just because you can keep it doesn't mean you should. Just because you can search it, doesn't mean it's worth searching.

And just because you say you aren't evil, doesn't mean you aren't (this advice is brought to you by an advertising whore... ). The romantic in me hopes i am proved otherwise.

no, i am not jealous of having yet another email account, and my RL social networks work just fine. Again, this is hella creepy watching the virus in action- how can such a "simple interface" cause such mania. look, it's shiny! I am going to sleep with a stake underneath my pillow and a cross close to my heart...
posted by elphTeq at 4:42 AM on June 11, 2004


If someone sent me a gmail invite I would think it was just ducky.
posted by konolia at 4:47 AM on June 11, 2004


I don't particularly want to keep 1GB of email. I mostly want to see how the much talked about interface works. I've switched my main mailing list subscriptions over to gmail, so I'll see if it helps me better manage the volume of data that comes through from them.
posted by jacquilynne at 5:05 AM on June 11, 2004


Also, to the account requestors, I'd think that many/most mefites who have invitations to spare will be looking to this ask.me thread to give them away, since that's probably where they got them. I know if gmail offers me any invites, that's the list I'll be checking out. You might want to add yourself there.
posted by jacquilynne at 5:10 AM on June 11, 2004


That article is so utterly dumb. It's all speculation ("We don't use Gmail, but it is safe to assume that the ad matching is no better in Gmail, than it is in news articles that use contextual ad feeds from Google.") and theoreticals ("If Google builds a database of keywords associated with email addresses, the potential for abuse is staggering.").

I forward all my non-spam from my personal account to Google. It's a kickass webmail interface, and their search rocks. Frankly, if The Man were out to pin something on me, he'd have an easier time trolling through (publicly-available) old MeFi and usenet posts than my old email stash.

How come no one gets excited about storing their email at Microsoft?
posted by mkultra at 6:45 AM on June 11, 2004


WITTIEST REMARK WINS GMAIL ACCOUNT!!!

SECOND WITTIEST REMARK GETS A YEAR'S SUPPLY OF SURPLUS PUNCTUATION!!!!!!!!
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 6:52 AM on June 11, 2004


Why do you want to keep 1Gb of emails?

I've got an archive of almost every non-spam email I've received since early 1994. If gmail were around ten years ago... uh... we'd all have accounts already, I guess.

But, you know, grep works fine for me.
posted by majcher at 7:57 AM on June 11, 2004


I've got a GMail account, don't use it though since the interface is, well, lousy.

This article didn't help in the least and its made me distrust all things Google now.

Why are so many people begging like dogs for treats for an email account?
posted by fenriq at 8:23 AM on June 11, 2004


I'd say for the same reason that so many people are disdainfully and condescendingly insulting those who want gmail accounts: because that's just the kind of people they are.

In other gmail begging news, I'm maintaining a begging list in my profile. Rather than clogging up this thread, email me (jacquilynne, gmail, etc), or use the begging thread in Ask.Me to be put on or taken off the list.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:34 AM on June 11, 2004


Why are so many people begging like dogs for treats for an email account?

It appears that they have fallen for one of the marketers' oldest tricks: give your product snob appeal by making it seem exclusive. I believe Aristotle discusses this ploy in Rhetoric. (Okay, I made that up.) I think it indicates that there are perhaps a few more sheep in the MeFi flock than some would think.

quonsar can back me up on this.
posted by deadcowdan at 9:23 AM on June 11, 2004


I thought we all agreed not to bring up the quonsar + sheep incident(s) again.
posted by Blue Stone at 9:42 AM on June 11, 2004


Why are so many people begging like dogs for treats for an email account?

Did someone say beg?

*begging like a dog* do ya do ya email account email account oh boy oh boy *wags tail* *wag* *wag*

*shrek 2 puppy dog eyes*

*wag* *pant pant pant*

how is that for witty comment!

greaterdemon@hotmail.com
posted by andryeevna at 11:32 AM on June 11, 2004


As soon as I get invites, I will shower them on MeFites like fresh summer rain.
posted by precocious at 3:34 PM on June 11, 2004


konolia and Grod - gotcha both.
posted by scarabic at 3:54 PM on June 11, 2004


That article is so utterly dumb. It's all speculation ("We don't use Gmail, but it is safe to assume that the ad matching is no better in Gmail, than it is in news articles that use contextual ad feeds from Google.") and theoreticals ("If Google builds a database of keywords associated with email addresses, the potential for abuse is staggering.").

That first part, while speculation on the part of the article, turns out to be true. Doesn't make me dislike my gmail any though. Textads are easy enough to ignore.
posted by juv3nal at 2:26 AM on June 12, 2004


I got an invite, email me

passing it forward since my wife got one from here :)
posted by andryeevna at 4:55 AM on June 12, 2004


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