A Non-Newtonian Fluid (maddening) wrote,
A Non-Newtonian Fluid
maddening

I am confused here...

Everyone is going on and on and on about gmail. I looked it up and at first blush, the idea looks good. An incredible amount of space for free, clean interface, no banner ads or pop ups.
Then I thought... well.. how the hell is that possible? How can they not charge or use ads?

Well, they *do* use ads. They read your mail (not personally, but using sniffers), and target ads at you in your inbox I guess (can't figure out exactly where they're placing them). Which, well, is exactly the opposite of "no spam". It's "use this by agreeing to receive spam", if they're sent to you as mail messages. Also, they do click tracking, not just for system analysis, which is understandable in a beta product, but also for the purpose of targetting ads and to see what ads you click on for a better focus on what they're sending you.
They mention that they display ads and links to you in your inbox based on the content of the mail you currently have open. There is also no opt-out for mail about gmail and other google services they send you.

It is good at least that they are this upfront about it. Their privacy statement is very clearly written.

But, well, I can't see what's great about a mail service that reads your mail. Maybe it's the security/privacy issues hound in me...
The space vs. privacy is a personal trade off, I realize. And I don't personally have to worry about paid/free email because Karl runs his own mail server so I have as many accounts I want, no limits of any kind.

I know several of you have been talking about your Gmail accounts and I've had some contact with others who've been very happy with them so far... how do you feel about the privacy issues?
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