Tuesday, June 08, 2004

GMail Privacy Issues: My $0.02

'Cuz i'm lazy and am not feeling like being redundant, check out my reply on Bull and Snake's web log regarding those privacy concerns.


dponce80 said...

This is me dropping a line, and making it very clear I'd very much like an account... if ever one comes up again.

I'll also take this forum to post a reply to your comment on my blog. (dont you just love shameless promotion? ;)

Anyways, I have a tendency to beat around the bush a lot and maybe my post didn't make my point clear enough. See, I know that any determined hacker could easily get to my emails, and I know that as long as I keep my emails on any server, they could be read. And, yes, me too, I'd choose Google anytime over MSN. Which is why I'd love to get an account.

No, what bothers me is much more immaterial and... I guess stupid. It's the psychological effect of having ads pop-up when you're doing something as intrinsically private as emailing someone. Imagine sending someone a letter through old fashioned snail-mail. Then when the other person gets it, they see it's been opened, and stuffed with ads that relate to what you were talking about. It's just freaky. (I don't mind, it's a small price to pay for the coolest email account around) I mean, it just makes you feel that, maybe, in a future not so distant, they'll find a way to figure out what you're thinking about, and target their ads that way.

I know it's crazy and paranoid, but it's a feeling I'm going to take a while to shake off.

Hmm... maybe I oughtta start taking that anti-psychotic medication after all.

Chris Holland said...

oh no but your clarification does help me understand your original point. I can totally understand the original "uneasy" feeling one might get, i mean it's true, if you stop and think for a second, it's quite startling, I totally hear you on that.

From this point it's just about each person assessing whether or not he or she is comfortable with this, which for many people, will require hesitation. It is this initial, natural hesitation which you have articulated in your blog.

What Google is doing essentially brings to the foreground things most people never spent time thinking about. You can think about these issues through gut instincts, or through a stricter, more rational thought process. You've articulated the former, I've tried to go for the latter.

I believe that as a result of our discussion, people will have more of a chance to weigh pros and cons according to what matters to them most.

What's bugging me about lawmakers getting involved with this, is that they're essentially making decisions for the public. All they should care about is that Google effectively discloses ahead of time what exactly it is that they do, so consumers can make an informed choice on their own. This further reeks of corporate lobbying, and echoes a lot of the silly knee-jerk FUD reaction from the mainstream press immediately following this release.

and by all means, do feel free to plug your plug to your heart's content ;], you don't see me hesitate now do you? hehe :D

Chris Holland said...

For Reference, Here is the blog entry from which this discussion started. I hope the link works this time.

dponce80 said...

I have to admit you've hit the nail right on the head with the lawmaker's issue. If you ask me though, I don't think this bill will get anywhere.

The one we should be concerned about, is the one making P2P basically illegal. Imagine THAT happens...