• Google says it may start scanning Gmail again

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    It’s a disturbing development. In late June, Google announced that it would stop scanning free Gmail, in order to serve up ads. That follows earlier c
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    • #132087

      I think Google’s mission (which is identical to Amazon’s) can be summed up thusly in the form of this satirical article: http://babylonbee.com/news/amazon-buy-whole-world-450-trillion/

      Satire… it’s a joke folks, before anybody gets outraged at this.

      Fortran, C++, R, Python, Java, Matlab, HTML, CSS, etc.... coding is fun!
      A weatherman that can code

    • #132089

      Figuring out what people want and advertising it to them is where the money is. Was there ever any doubt they’d return to that model? Like on a Geico commercial, “if you’re Google, it’s what you do”.

      Soon it will be a given that all technology will be watching you, and after everyone gets used to it they’ll all just accept it, because no one wants to be without their gadgets.

      Where does it all end up? Either tech that uses all that knowledge to love and nurture us, or tech that uses all that knowledge to eliminate us.


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      • #132110

        Thousands of years of human existence, especially the last 100 or so, tell us which direction that is.  I’ll can it there to keep within the Lounge rules.

        Fortran, C++, R, Python, Java, Matlab, HTML, CSS, etc.... coding is fun!
        A weatherman that can code

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      • #132185

        “Miss Stellwagon says advertising is a basically parasitic profession… that advertising makes people who can’t afford it buy things they don’t want with money they haven’t got.”

        ― From “Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House” (1948)

        Some things really do never change.

    • #132091

      Unless Google finds a way to insert ads in Mozilla Thunderbird then they won’t be bothering me. I only read my Gmail messages in Thunderbird.

      Carl D.

    • #132123

      You didn’t expect Google to give away Gmail for nothing on a permanent basis, did you? No one gives away webmail or anything else for free, except for charitable organizations. Since information-gathering (i.e. spying) is Google’s entire business model, it makes sense that their incessant appetite for your personal information would not allow them to turn off that spigot for long.

      Group "L" (Linux Mint)
      with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
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    • #132182

      I don’t mind this, because they give me 17 GB of free space, distributed between Gmail, Drive, and Photos. On top of that, I’m actually using another 32 GB of space in Photos by syncing all our digital camera pictures there, using the “High Quality (free unlimited storage)” setting.

      If having all that free stuff plus their free Docs/Sheets/Slides/Keep apps means they get to poke around my email to serve me relevant two line text based ads, then I’m totally fine with this. Out of all the free email services, Gmail is still the best one around, even if they snoop just like all the others.

      Maybe it’s a bit hypocritical, but despite me being ok with Google doing this in the cloud, I’m not ok with Microsoft doing this on my computer. I know what Google has access to; the problem is, we don’t know all the places Microsoft is poking around – and they’re not disclosing that information either.

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      • #132214


        But for celebrities, government workers, high-level company executives, etc, it is not wise to use such free email services like Gmail, Hotmail, etc. In fact, this also applies to any free Cloud service.

    • #132188

      Maybe I am wrong, but from what I understood when they originally started scanning emails, they were transparent about it and quite respectful. If I am not mistaken, they reassured people they would not have people looking in their email, but only an algorithm that would scan the mail in real time to provide tailored ads in gmail. At the time, I didn’t find it that bad, and I had already left data on gmail’s servers anyway so nothing new collected and stored. As long as this data was well protected, and I trust Google more than MS for that, and not available to third parties in direct or aggregated form, I didn’t find it too offensive to just scan it and provide ads when I look at emails. I found it smart to tell third-parties we handle the data and we’ll serve your targeted ads when it is relevant but we don’t touch that data or give it to you.

      Of course, an opt-out would be important. But was this idea that bad if it was confined to Gmail only? To me, not nearly close to many other bad practices. And they were upfront about it.

      Maybe I didn’t understand right or they changed a lot since then, though.

    • #132194

      Lately, Google have taken to firing people (or getting people fired) for dissenting from the party line, and to strong-arming websites into removing writing that they disapprove of on pain of losing Google ad support. Therefore I would not trust Google to resist the temptation to scan my emails for opinions they don’t like, nor would I be surprised suddenly to discover that I could no longer access my Google mail and that everything I’d put in the Google cloud was gone.

      Good thing I never took the bait of “free” services in return for the details of my digital life, as I would have a fair bit of untangling to do now. For years I’ve had Facebook.com in my hosts file. It might be time to add Google.com to it.


      • #132207

        …nor would I be surprised suddenly to discover that I could no longer access my Google mail and that everything I’d put in the Google cloud was gone.

        Google’s TOS are becoming vague so they can cancel your account on a whim. Last year I got kicked out of my account (luckily could bring it back) because I got an incompetent spammer I personally know emailing an event announcement to a few hundred email addresses with the list open and public (by not using BCC). I replied with a public open rant bringing her attention for her lack of professionalism. Well, some white knight reported me to Google and suddenly I was logged out of my Gmail account and unable to log back in into my whole Google account. I had to click some links, write down some defense, got a code on my phone and with that I could get my account back. Learned a lesson and now I know I can get kicked out of the whole Google universe just by replying to an email or a YouTube comment.

        Google Takeout allows you to download a backup of your GStuff. Copy it to a personal hard drive, just in case TooBigToFail is set to zero.

        I do this every few months. It’s time to do this again, thanks for popping this one on my mind!

        (Google is not much different from any other email provider. I personally know a guy who had some paying email account on some email provider that went bankrupt. He had both personal and professional emails on that account, and after some years of complaints [imagine the legal chaos if the provider is in another country or out of Europe / USA] , he didn’t get his data back and I don’t think he has it up to date nor he will ever have it…)

    • #132195

      Could not trust MSFT, could not trust Google, that is why I had to set up my private email server.

    • #132218

      Lets just look at the author of this article:

      The senior editor for Ars Technica. Founder of TYDN fake news site. Technologist. Political scientist. Humorist.


      Win8.1/R2 Hybrid lives on..
    • #132237

      I’m never shocked when I read Google is collecting data. Its basically what they do, and I can’t even believe anyone doesn’t already understand this? Not sure I consider Google sinister or a access of evil.  But I have developed a concern over a company like Google having this much data at their disposal.

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