Friday, 3 February 2012

Is Google Reading your Personal Mails?

In our moral studies lessons we were taught that its bad to read somebody's diary or letter without his/her permission, but now the scenario has changed. As it is said that everything is fair in love and war so as all the unfair activities are good when you want your business to grow.

Do you think that your G-mailbox is secure and safe? Do you think that no one can read your mails without your permission? If your answer is YES, read through this blog post to get your facts clear.

In response to question "Given the issues raised by Facebook's security holes and aggressive privacy policy changes, how secure is Gmail data within Google? Can all Google employees and interns access Gmail data?" on Quora Christopher Nguyen, who was earlier responsible for Google Apps operations at Google replied

A small number of GMail-related engineers have access to the servers as a matter of necessity to do their jobs; a very small number of people actually access the contents as a matter of necessity to do their jobs, and even then, almost always only the associated metadata. The rest have to file a request and justify any access they ever need, which is extremely rare. All have to sign paperwork re users' privacy at the risk of dismissal & legal action, knowing that whatever they do is discoverable. And ultimately, an internal culture of respecting users' privacy helps keep one another in check.
So the risk is never zero, but minimized by the factors above.

The contextual ads which are served in Gmail are triggered based on the content of the email message that your currently reading. Certainly these are bots who are scanning your message at that moment and serving ads on that basis, but Microsoft in hope to entice users to shift to Hotmail is using this point to target Google on privacy. 

Some email services, like Gmail, actually read the contents of your mail (both sent and received, even if you aren’t a Gmail user but just sending to someone who is) in order to decide what kind of ads to serve up to you. They may call it “scanning” and attempt to equate it with less invasive activities like “checking for spam” but it’s quite different. For you, and the people you send mail to, it’s not spam, it’s personal.

Further, people tend to stay logged into their email service throughout the day. So all Internet searches you do with Google become tied to that same identity. 

Microsoft has also released a video featuring Gmail Man who highlights this particular Gmail behavior. Check out this video:

 Thanks to g-mail users on youtube for equal number of dislikes :)  

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