Friday, May 14, 2004

Google Oogles Mail

I think that all the uproar over privacy and Google's announced mail offering is hilarious.

Don't get me wrong. I'm as rabid a privacy advocate as they come. But complaining about Google auto-inserting ads based on keywords in the messages only demonstrates the complainer's ignorance.

The same people would complain if their ISP didn't scan their mail for viruses or spam. And where do they think their mail sits until (if) they download it? In a vault?

Unless you run your own mail server, the admins at your ISP (or ASP, or whatever) have ALWAYS been able to read your mail. Ditto your hosted web site, and anything else kept on a server somewhere.

This is the rare case where security by obscurity works. Mostly. There is sooo much stuff in storage at a large ISP or ASP that the systems admins frankly can't be bother to look at it, regardless of any rules against it. Same as dealing with the phone company. Telephone techs have always been able to tap any circuit they wanted to, legally or not. But they rarely bother, because there is an overwhelming amount of crap involved, and it's too much trouble to sift through.

Politicians think they can legislate against this? Get real!


At 12:37 PM, Blogger Kelley Ender said...

I'm stoked about Gmail! I think it's gonna be the greatest thing since sliced bread!

Yahoo and other webmail services are offering 1Gb of space now, too. But they just don't get it. It's more than just an insane amount of space. It's an easy to use interface, better message organization, and it's Google. When Google does something, they do it right. Kudos to you Google!


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