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Gizmodo Hyperventilates: Gmail Isn’t Private! (aka, Very Old News)

Shock news that isn’t
Technology • Views: 20,206

Time for a completely hysterical breaking story from Gizmodo: Google: Gmail Users Have No Reason to Expect Privacy.

Here’s some more bad news to add to the pile of concern over email vulnerability, a brief filed by Google’s attorneys has just surfaced and revealed that Gmail users should have “no legitimate expectation of privacy”—ever.

Evar!? Wow. That sounds bad. Tell me more.

The brief, unearthed by Consumer Watchdog, was filed on July 13, 2013 in response to a class action complaint against the company to the United States District Court for Northern District of California in the hopes that the court would dismiss the case. According to the document, users should assume that any electronic corresponded that finds its way to Google’s servers can and may be full accessed and used for a whole slew of purposes, including selling ads.

OMG! Why didn’t somebody tell me this before I used Gmail to send my aunt all those lolcats? They’re spying on my memes!

Oh wait. You mean, it’s been public knowledge for a long time that Google has content filters that scan Gmail for advertising keywords? No way!

Microsoft Attacks Google on Gmail Privacy - Feb. 6, 2013.

On Thursday, Microsoft plans to unveil a new print, television and online advertising campaign that attacks Google on an issue that Microsoft believes is one of its great vulnerabilities: privacy. The ads will showcase research that shows most people don’t know that Web e-mail providers like Google scan the contents of their e-mail messages to deliver personalized ads to them — and when they do find out, they don’t like it.

Breaking bombshell privacy news! For the last 9 years or so.

Google May Change GMail Advertising Model Due to Complaints - April 14, 2004. (h/t: @MartinSFP.)

When asked if it would be economical for Google to offer the GMail email with the 1 GB of storage without the content targeted advertising, Krane gave a “no comment.” Obviously there are other options for Google in this case, serving behavioral and gender specific text advertising, however, such practices may be shunned upon by Google’s advertisers since the targeting would not be as sharp as content targeted ads.

Additionally, Google has weighed the option of having GMail users opt-in for AdWords advertisements. Google President and co-founder Sergey Brin told the Wall Street Journal that Google “will not make any ‘rash changes’ to the email service which is still being tested by thousands of users.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, Brin also commented on the idea of letting Gmail users opt in or out of the targeted ad service was an idea that “is being batted about. We certainly wouldn’t rule it out.”

I guess it’s just going to be one hyperventilating article after another as writers for sites like Gizmodo suddenly realize the shiny happy technology they promote 24/7, day in, day out, has privacy issues.

UPDATE at 8/13/13 4:27:36 pm

By the way, Gizmodo’s source for this breaking bombshell that isn’t?

Russia Today: Google: Gmail Users ‘Have No Legitimate Expectation of Privacy’ — RT USA.

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 Frank says:

Here I stand hoping against hope that it's a chick with a low voice. -- At a concert in Beloit, Wisconsin 1968 or 69, when a guy in the audience yelled out, "Eat me Zappa".