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What’s the Big Deal with Gmail?

There has certainly been a lot of hoopla about the forthcoming Gmail service from Google. Below is a comment by Karanbir Singh and my response:

    “Do you realize that with this blog already in the google index - they already know a lot about you, and even the people who click through their search system to get to the blog, and they do know who and what kind of preferences those people have. Plus, I know it for a fact that a lot of information is collected by hotmail and yahoo as well - on their online systems. Another thing is that you forgot to mention - google says that even when you delete emails, they will hang onto the metadata ( or even the email ) and not purge it, even after you have specifically deleted it!! Yah!”

Yes Karanbir, but what I really want to emphasize here is we are talking about private email. A website doesn’t have personal information like email, hence the real danger. People are being suckered by the 1 gig storage deal, but some don’t understand it is NOT webspace they are offering. It is ONLY storage for emails. Google has an ulterior motive for providing such. That way everything will be there for posterity’s sake - ie. for the search engine robots to access and process the information. They are certainly not giving it away for benevolent reasons.

Personally I don’t understand all the hype. If I should happen to use Hotmail (I don’t but my kids do) I would download what I want and delete the rest for security purposes. And if I want to store my email then all I have to do is invest a few cents in a CD and put it on MY shelf - NOT Google’s. If you want to get fancy with searches, use software like SleuthHound, dtSearch, enFish, xFind or whatever to index it. So having a 1 gig storage space on the internet is irrelevant to me. So what’s the big deal? If people want to leave their private email on the internet for Google to use at its discretion then more power to them.

Written April 9th, 2004 by | Filed under: Miscellaneous Blog Tips

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