Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Information every gooogle user should think about

Particularily if you use gmail. In the latest issue of Wired Magazine:

"Daniel Brandt, operator of Google Watch, a site that's critical of Google, says people who are concerned with privacy should be particularly cautious about what records are being kept on their online searches. In many ways, search data is even more valuable than other information sought by marketers, such as shopping records. "

Later in the article one privacy advocate even goes as far as to say:

"Stay away from Gmail. While 2 free GB of storage is a tempting offer, it's not worth the trade-off of having e-mail monitored and scanned. "

Most of us are aware that search engines use cookies, but I'd never thought of the implications of this with respect to free email accounts before. So many of the internet search companies offer free email accounts, that it is difficult, if not impossible to get a free email account without one.

This basically leaves you with two options: 1) enter false information into the free email registration page (not technically allowed, but often done - though if you ever forget your password, just try to remember which name and birthday you used for verification purposes)
2) stay away from free email altogether.
Otherwise, you may find a random search for some embarrasing medical condition comes back to haunt you ("no honestly honey, I never searched for Herpes using google, I swear")


In other News..

Dig Tank: Has a couple of great recent posts on customer service vs lip service in big companies: worth checking out for sure.

NY Times: Tells us that Columbus was wrong - the world IS flat. Good article.


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