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Thread: gmail and privacy

  1. #1
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    Default gmail and privacy

    I was reading this article:

    http://www.sfgate.com/technology/businessinsider/article/GOOGLE-If-You-Use-Gmail-You-Have-No-Legitimate-4730587.php

    which details a lawsuit against google for their invasion to user's privacy and I am curious what other's thoughts are on this as to whether it is anything to be concerned about. If so then what would be a good email alternative to gmail?
    To choose the lesser of two evils is still to choose evil. My personal site

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    For you, unless you're doing something contrary to your avowed lifestyle and faith, I doubt it.

    In general it's a symptom of a larger problem. There is increasingly no reasonable expectation of privacy anywhere, except in your own home, and that depends upon who, if anyone is with you there at the time.

    The internet is basically a public forum anyway though, so no one should be surprised if what they say there is discovered by anyone. I don't believe any encryption or restricted access schemes are foolproof. They just keep out the people who don't have encryption and restriction busting programs.
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    There are people who face religious persecution (death) in certain other countries if they are discovered and if my (I am using myself here as a hypothetical example) email is less than secure then certain people mentioned in the email are at increased risk if my email is disclosed to them.

    I have an option to be added to the list of email recipients as far as news about or from those that face death for telling others about the Gospel.
    To choose the lesser of two evils is still to choose evil. My personal site

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    I never believed anything that's on the Internet to be 100% safe. So the contents of my emails don't contain info that might be too confident. I even restrict e-banking as much as possible.
    Are there still countries where promoting the christian conviction is an official and legal reason for the death sentence? I know there are countries (Uganda) where the law stipulates that gay 'repeat' offenders may face death. Are there countries where the same applies to christians?

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    That seems to be getting off topic, but there has been some recent problems in Eritrea, apparently:
    http://www.christianitytoday.com/gle...stian-fai.html


    As for Google/Gmail, I have some serious objections that aren't specifically about privacy. I absolutely hate the new direction of Gmail (I was happy with it in it's polished original state, with just a few additions). I've been complaining on the "support" forums, which don't actually have any Google employees helping, just unofficial self-appointed helpers. The result is a few hacks to get rid of unwanted features, and a lot of annoyed posters who have no hope for actually getting Gmail back to how they want it. In my case, I'm most annoyed by the new "categories", which are useless, annoying, and cannot be deactivated. All I'd like to see is a real off switch, but it isn't happening. Interestingly, some users are concerned about privacy for that reason, because it's categorizing messages automatically. But to me, it's not different than spam, since it's automated. Anything beyond that would bother me though (in terms of privacy).

    I'm not sure what that article is really getting at. It sounds like a bunch of paranoid people worrying about something that isn't as big a deal as they imply-- the government might read our emails. That's a political issue, but not about Google. Google has been better than most companies about not sharing our personal data. So if this changes and it becomes Google arbitrarily sharing our data with anyone who wants it, that's a problem. If this is just government stuff, then that's in itself potentially problematic, but I don't see why Google is bad.


    The real problem, as I see it, is that Google is too big. They don't have tech support because they have too many users to have tech support. (That's what is cut-and-pasted at the forum anyway.) So to me, that means they're too big. They don't care about customers. We're numbers to them-- they rely on statistics to make decisions about changes, for example. And in fact they may not care about our privacy. That doesn't mean they're going out of their way to violate it, but they may not care.

    I'd be very interested as well in hearing about alternatives to Gmail. If Google doesn't turn this around, I may be looking for another option.

    I've always been happy with Google-- I never thought I had any control over anything, but my expectations and perspectives lined up with Google's. Now that they don't, it is quite worrying. Google is unstoppable, uncontrollable and unquestioned. If you're happy with what they do, great. If not, I do think there's reason for serious concern.
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    Quote Originally Posted by djr33 View Post
    That seems to be getting off topic, but there has been some recent problems in Eritrea, apparently:
    http://www.christianitytoday.com/gle...stian-fai.html
    I don't think it's off topic, since James raised the point himself. Anyhow, from what I read in the link, something very bad is going on in Eritrea.
    Quote Originally Posted by djr33 View Post
    I'm most annoyed by the new "categories", which are useless.
    To be honest, I like them, because they show me which emails I should read first.

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    Not you in particular, just that there's a side conversation (and now I've posted a link). I don't think James will mind.

    That's fine-- some people like them (although they seem to classify things SO badly, I wonder how you feel confident relying on them-- maybe with some training they improve). But all I want is an off switch-- I don't mind them as a truly optional feature
    Daniel - Freelance Web Design | <?php?> | <html>| español | Deutsch | italiano | português | català | un peu de français | some knowledge of several other languages: I can sometimes help translate here on DD | Linguistics Forum

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