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Old 08-14-2013, 08:18 AM   #1
fjtorres
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Google says privacy should not be expected

From Cnet:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-575...on-of-privacy/

Quote:
Google has made it clear that people who send or receive e-mail via Gmail should not expect their messages to remain private.
In a 39-page motion filed in June (see below) to have a class-action data-mining lawsuit dismissed, the Web giant cites Smith v. Maryland, a 1979 Supreme Court decision that upheld the collection of electronic communications without a warrant.
"Just as a sender of a letter to a business colleague cannot be surprised that the recipient's assistant opens the letter, people who use web-based email today cannot be surprised if their emails are processed by the recipient's [e-mail provider] in the course of delivery. Indeed, 'a person has no legitimate expectation of privacy in information he voluntarily turns over to third parties.'"
Just in case the idea hasn't quite sunk in, there are details at the source.
As has been so often restated, on the internet if you're not the buyer you're the product. Act accordingly.

Cnet also has a rationalist commentary:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-31322_3-57...vacy-were-you/


Quote:

...if you read the brief, or the Gmail Terms of Service, or even stop and think about what Gmail actually does, that shouldn't come as a surprise, and it's nothing Google hasn't baldly stated before. I'm not saying I like it, but it's definitely not news. It's actually just how Gmail works.
So, yes, Google is saying that you don't have an expectation of privacy when you're using Gmail. But what Google is also saying is that you knew you didn't have an expectation of privacy when you signed up, because when you signed up you agreed to contextual advertising, to indexed, searchable email, to spam filters, and to content filters like Priority Inbox.
Again, nice analysis at the source.

Last edited by fjtorres; 08-14-2013 at 08:25 AM.
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Old 08-14-2013, 09:16 AM   #2
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It's a reasonable positions to take when you're talking about Gmail as a traditional web mail service. "It's free what did you expect. If you don't like it use something else."

When you start talking Android and the requirement to have a Gmail account before you can use the store, that is a subtlety which is lost on most consumers. If you don't like it are you supposed to buy another phone? Is that reasonable? I know that you only need the Gmail account to access the store and you can use another email provider for your mail but do they really expect my Aunt Sally to understand that.

I disagree with the statement that this isn't news. I'm sure it's news to a lot of people.
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Old 08-14-2013, 09:51 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barcey View Post
It's a reasonable positions to take when you're talking about Gmail as a traditional web mail service. "It's free what did you expect. If you don't like it use something else."

When you start talking Android and the requirement to have a Gmail account before you can use the store, that is a subtlety which is lost on most consumers. If you don't like it are you supposed to buy another phone? Is that reasonable? I know that you only need the Gmail account to access the store and you can use another email provider for your mail but do they really expect my Aunt Sally to understand that.

I disagree with the statement that this isn't news. I'm sure it's news to a lot of people.
I agree. I mean technically the Government (or rather the post office) can scan packages or open mail under certain conditions I imagine, but generally they don't. And most of us probably see email as just an extension of snail mail which happens to be quicker than snail mail is. And what is the point of having 'secure servers' on which email is sent if that privacy isn't going to exist?
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Old 08-14-2013, 10:31 AM   #4
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I'm sure it's news to a lot of people.
That the Earth revolves around the Sun might still be news to some people.
Big deal.
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Old 08-14-2013, 10:48 AM   #5
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Plain text email has never been secure, so if someone is concerned about privacy, there are tools like PGP: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pretty_Good_Privacy Google scanning mail should probably be made more public, and get more transparently stated, though.

Google is not a charity, even if they like to give that impression. The price for using their services is the information (and analysis of it) that we provide when we use their search engine, mail, etc. It is quite valuable.
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Old 08-14-2013, 11:07 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barcey View Post
When you start talking Android and the requirement to have a Gmail account before you can use the store, that is a subtlety which is lost on most consumers. If you don't like it are you supposed to buy another phone? Is that reasonable? I know that you only need the Gmail account to access the store and you can use another email provider for your mail but do they really expect my Aunt Sally to understand that.
You don't really need a Gmail account, you just need a Google account and even then, you can opt not to make use of the email services. You could continue using Yahoo, Hotmail, POP3 or whatever the heck you were using before.

Unlike Apple, there are alternative app stores for Android (1Mobile, etc) so that's certainly one route you can take. It just happens to be easier for most folks to use the Google Play store. Heck, I've got an Android tablet that has its wi-fi permanently disabled. No Google account (or any account) linked to it and apps and content are added via sideloading.
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Old 08-14-2013, 11:29 AM   #7
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Quote:
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Google is not a charity, even if they like to give that impression. The price for using their services is the information (and analysis of it) that we provide when we use their search engine, mail, etc. It is quite valuable.
This is a very good point. I use gmail myself, but may switch over to my own hosted service at some point.
PGP is a valuable resource. Trouble is few people know how to use it.
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Old 08-14-2013, 11:33 AM   #8
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I've been souring a lot on Google lately they have been pulling quite a lot of things like this, reversing course on net neutrality, censoring search results which are getting more and more worthless and also what's really got me annoyed is they are destroying the things they did do well by trying to force them into Google+.

Last example of this is probably Hangouts it's by far the worst messenger I've ever used doesn't give you control of your own contact list (mines full of many many duplicates because it lifts the contacts from so many places and treats each email address as a new contact), doesn't show whose on and offline and is on all the time by default on your android devices whether you like it or not.

Some other things like trying to do away with phone/tablet storage by removing Micro SD, USB Mass Storage and USB OTG very blatantly to try and sell their own cloud storage which will never ever be a good alternative.

I still like them more than Apple but I can't wait for alternatives like tizen to appear.

PS: Did I mention they killed the only two Google sites I ever used iGoogle and Google Reader.

Last edited by Teknikal; 08-14-2013 at 11:37 AM.
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Old 08-14-2013, 11:51 AM   #9
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If you are on the internet, you forgo some privacy. The more you want done for you, the more you lose.
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Old 08-14-2013, 12:15 PM   #10
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I've been souring a lot on Google lately they have been pulling quite a lot of things like this
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Originally Posted by frahse View Post
The more you want done for you, the more you lose.
The are not "pulling" anything, they are stating plain fact that some people want to deny or pretend isn't so.

You cannot "lose" something you never had. Just because some people all of a sudden decided that they think they should have a presumption of privacy does not alter the reality that they never did.

If they want it, they need to establish it, not pretend it was always there then bitch when reality refuses to alter itself to agree with them.

And the reason not many people know how to use email encryption is that very few people need it, want it, or care.
Even in the military, we never bothered with encryption unless the traffic specifically warranted it, and we have a separate network for that purpose.

ApK

(The preceding was an irresistible commentary on the so-called 'news' item and the thread as it stood when I glanced at it. I respectfully suggest this thread be move to P&R.)

Last edited by ApK; 08-14-2013 at 12:25 PM.
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Old 08-14-2013, 01:28 PM   #11
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And another take on the "News"

http://thenextweb.com/google/2013/08...vacy-in-gmail/

Folks, unless you're encrypting your email, all the email servers in the world have plaintext access to all your email. It's like writing on the back of a postcard.
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Old 08-14-2013, 03:00 PM   #12
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Folks, unless you're encrypting your email, all the email servers in the world have plaintext access to all your email. It's like writing on the back of a postcard.
There are differences that I think are incredibly important. First, if I write all of my correspondence on postcards, I understand that it isn't private, but neither do I expect the post office to be building a database that correlates my next correspondence with all of my previous ones.

Knowing that any individual could be reading any one of my messages is vastly different than knowing that an individual has access to all of my correspondence at once. Someone finding a postcard slightly erodes my privacy in the sense that someone has a snapshot of some aspect of my life. Google, though, is trying to determine (and is apparently succeeding at determining) what advertisements will convert to sales for each individual person.

The other important distinction is that with the Post Office, I have the option of either sending a postcard or spending slightly more money and sending a sealed letter. This is on a per-message basis and requires that I do no more setup than buying an envelope (which the Post Office will sell me if I'm even that shortsighted). Google doesn't offer me that option.

For me, it boils down to the difference between one person looking at my house while driving by and another obviously casing the joint. Google's reasoning is that since I haven't put up any protections against someone looking at my house, it's OK for them to look in all the windows and maybe try a few doors to see what brand of soda I drink and if I might be in the market for a new TV.
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Old 08-14-2013, 03:41 PM   #13
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And another take on the "News"

http://thenextweb.com/google/2013/08...vacy-in-gmail/

Folks, unless you're encrypting your email, all the email servers in the world have plaintext access to all your email. It's like writing on the back of a postcard.
Yup. It's kinda surprising that this comes up only now. I run a small email server so I know the ins and outs of how mail is locally stored. To assume that somehow the provider does not have access to those mails... well, big mistake. It's been said many times before: the only way to secure email from prying eyes is by encrypting and decrypting them client side.

Last edited by Alexander Turcic; 08-14-2013 at 05:07 PM.
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Old 08-14-2013, 05:06 PM   #14
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*YAWN* I've been using GMail since launch, and I've been an e-mail user since 1997.

It should really be obvious that there's no privacy whatsoever.

You could run your own e-mail server, but that doesn't guarantee privacy on the other end. If you're using a company's e-mail server, of course they'e going to have access to all your e-mail internally, and heck, sometimes it is noted in the signature of these people's e-mails that they are using an address that is actively being watched.

It's the public's fault that Google got this big to begin with. I was happily using WebCrawler and Yahoo's search engines back in the day before Google got shoved onto everyone's faces. It's not like you're going to willingly pay to use a search engine, so they have to find another way to make money, and well, "invading" your privacy as some people see it, is just the thing that works.
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Old 08-14-2013, 05:07 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Difflugia View Post
TThe other important distinction is that with the Post Office, I have the option of either sending a postcard or spending slightly more money and sending a sealed letter. This is on a per-message basis and requires that I do no more setup than buying an envelope (which the Post Office will sell me if I'm even that shortsighted). Google doesn't offer me that option.
And neither does the Postal Service. They just send whatever you give them. If you want security, you go out and buy envelopes. If you don't, every mail sorter along the way can read your postcard. It's your responsibility, not the Post Office.

If you want security with *any* email service, you must make the effort to make it secure. GMail is just another online mail service and by it's nature email is text based protocol. There is no and there should be no expectation of privacy.
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