Feb 13, 2013

How private is GMail?

Microsoft has been pushing the Google = Scrooge thing in its latest ad campaign. Basically, MS says Google reads all of your emails, and you should switch to er, whatever it is they call Hotmail now. Ok, I get that MS wants everyone to use their services instead, but in reality, is there a lack of privacy if you use Gmail? What does Microsoft email do differently?

I agree with jackson. You should never assume you have any privacy. In this case though, it seems clear that Microsoft is just trying to poach some of Google's customers. I regard Microsoft as being equally as intrusive as Google, so it's a wash as to who is less bad when it comes to privacy.

First off, I would always remember the maxim that the internet is NEVER private. Secondly, yeah, I'm sure that Google's systems data mine your emails looking for keywords for targeted advertising. So what? It isn't as if there is an army of Google creepers actually sitting in cubes going over your emails - it isn't actual people doing it. Plus you can opt out of it anyway, by simply clicking the appropriately named "opt out" button in your Google ad preferences. I'm not saying Google is the greatest company ever, but let's be fair.


Third, if you store things in Microsoft's cloud that they don't agree with, they will delete it. You know that Samsung commercial where the dad is about to go on a trip, and his wife shares a video that he "probably shouldn't look at on the plane?" Well, if he stores it in Microsoft's cloud, they may delete it as pornography. Whose Scrooge now, Microsoft? An uptight, judgmental, conservative prudish Scrooge? Yeah, thought so.

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