Google is powerful, and it’s compromising your privacy (which you probably already knew). Google is the top viewed website in the world. It can gather and make available any public information on you, and that’s not even counting what you’ve given away in emails.
Gmail users have no privacy
Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it accessible and useful. What does that mean for your Gmail account? Well, certainly you can’t expect it to be truly private. A quick glance at Google’s terms of service should clear up any lingering doubt. If you still have any doubts, Google is more than happy to clear that up; they expect users have zero expectation of privacy.
Lack of privacy in Gmail is no new issue. It’s been discussed heatedly since Gmail was introduced in 2004. The fact that some people still think they have any privacy with Gmail is the real concern.
What you get when you give up privacy
The newly debuted Gmail inbox is one of the “perks” you get when you give up a little privacy. Content filters can now direct emails to junk or a priority inbox since Google is scanning your emails.
Relevant advertising is another perk of your lack of Gmail privacy. In case you need Google to display advertisements for products you’re actually writing about, Gmail can do that. Maybe some people find that creepy, but the ads popping up on the side of Gmail should make it clear to anyone that Google is scanning your personal email.
Do we expect online privacy anymore?
It seems as if the younger generation, Millennials ages 18 to 29 years old, have already given up on online privacy. Many are actively managing their online reputations, carefully selecting what they will and will not put online. If the consumer’s expectation of privacy is dwindling, what would be Google’s incentive to increase privacy?
When it comes to privacy, there are options. Companies like Google, Microsoft, Mozilla and Facebook have teams of privacy experts working for them; so if you have concerns, read privacy policies carefully. You can pay for online services instead of giving up so much privacy by letting advertisers foot the bill. Just keep in mind that if you are communicating via email with someone using Gmail, those messages are still scanned.
You can’t expect privacy with Gmail. Think of your Gmail messages like a postcard you send out online. Sure, it’s got a specific intended recipient, but anyone along the way can access that information, and store it. Maybe you’re OK with that, and maybe you’re not, either way, you should have no expectation that anything you put in your free Gmail is private. When it comes to privacy, at least you know where you stand with Google; you don’t have any.
Many are more than willing to trade online privacy for convenience. Where do you stand on the issue?