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Subject: What's up with all the Gmail lately? rss

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Just about everything I seem to come across about Gmail seems to denounce it as a loss of privacy and loss of protection from personal information being passed along to others. I don't know if that is true or not, but after a few friends sent out some "warnings" about it, I have to consider that there may be some truth to that.

My question is this, if the privacy/protection issue is still being debated, why are so many people on BGG jumping to get Gmail accounts being offered? What are these "invites" I keep seeing? I don't want to be paranoid, but it sounds like there is still enough controversy about Gmail to be wary of it.

What am I missing?? ???
 
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Matthew M
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A- some of these privacy issues are actually not any different from any other web-based mail...somehow the surge of interest in Gmail initially has backlashed in increased attention to these issues.

B- they are still beta-testing their system. I have to imagine that some of their current policies as to looking at people's emails and keeping them in the system even when deleted have to do with working bugs out of the system. When Gmail goes public I hope some of these issues get resolved.

C- the interest is due to what they are offering, which is fairly innovative as far as web based email goes.

-MMM
 
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Michael Van Biesbrouck
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Accurate privacy policies
Keeping mail after you delete it just means that they have a backup system. No mail provider is going to have the tape robot load every tape that contains a message that you just decided to delete, find the messages and overwrite them. So they wrote an accurate privacy policy that states that your mail will still be around when you delete it. Strangely, nobody complains that other providers aren't mentioning that you mail will stick around. Then again, maybe they don't do backups. (Google also operates massively replicated systems are unlikely to simultaneously delete your messages.)

The complaints were mostly caused by Google matching ads to the messages that you are viewing. (So if you get a message from a Yahoo! account with a toolbar ad stuck on the end, then you get three ads for removing problematic toolbars show up when looking at the message. Almost a public service.) Nobody at Google or the company that provides the ads sees your mail when this happens. Software putting ads beside your mail that only you see is no more compromising than the same software showing you the contents of your email.

Why are there so many people offering accounts? Google has stepped up the frequency of giving out invites to current users, so people who have run out of friends and family needing Gmail invites are offering them to strangers in communities that they care about.
 
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Mark McEvoy
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Even if the privacy issues are well founded, it's still a large source of free online storage. If you're not using your gmail account for especially sensitive or illegal material, the 'privacy' concern is really not much of a concern at all. I will continue to use my home paid-for email account for anything official or privacy-sensitive, and I'll use my gmail for mailing lists, joke emails, and for online-accessible archival of nonsentitive reference files.
 
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Jonathan Tang
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Actually, I'm a little pissed at all the security claims about Gmail. These security experts saying that Google violates privacy and telling people not to use it. Whats up with that?

Quite simply, if people are afraid about privacy, don't sign up.

And since I've been using it for a few months, Adsense is great. Its only text ads, so no flashy irritating banners, and unobtrusively sits on the right.
 
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Nate Sandall
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How better?
I think the GMail invites are a stroke of marketing genius. Look at all the buzz they've created without spending much more than they already have.

-Cavedog_pdx@yahoo.com
 
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