Person Familiar With Gmail Speaks Out

A lady that worked on the technology that scans the content of the emails to present to you advertisements based on keywords, has spoken about the controversy behind Gmail and the technology it uses, and why we shouldn’t worry. Phy posted it in the comments for the post I made earlier, Gmail Is Too Creepy, so you can read it here:

“I personally don’t think this technology is an invasion of privacy – the emails are being scanned for content, yes, but the results of that scan are used to present *you* with relevant ads. The results of the scan are not stored anywhere, and even if you click on one of the advertising links, the advertisers aren’t given any data on *why* their ad was brought up as potentially relevant to you. The advertisers don’t even know *who* clicked over to their site – when you click on the link, Google tracks that there was a click-through (but not who clicked through) and then just opens the target page in a new window. So information about what kinds of messages you read isn’t being distributed anywhere, or used for any purpose other than to make your personal experience better. Yes, the result is that Google hopes to make more money on the ads because they are more relevant to you, but the data about what you’re reading doesn’t go anywhere.”

Max Thrane has also posted his thoughts on Gmail and the ridiculous things people will do to get an invitation.

2 Responses to “Person Familiar With Gmail Speaks Out”

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  1. To further add to this discussion, my friend David Knopf wrote the following in response to the aforementioned thread:Yes, I agree with all that. I don’t have any concern with the ad serving
    based on keyword matches. It may seem creepy to some people, but I don’t
    think it’s a legitimate privacy issue. The privacy issue has to do with
    matching the e-mail at with your history of web
    searches at I think that is a legitimate privacy concern.

  2. horai

    I think these people are just plain rude. It’s like cold calling salesmen and they get told to “go forth and multiply”.
    I still say that shoving unwanted software, ads and any kind of spam is a huge invasion of privacy. I guess she might see the point if we all turn up in her garden with placards and loud speakers advertising corporate crap and intercept all her letters to see if we can target our ads just for her enjoyment.
    How can scanning our PRIVATE!!!! mail not be an invasion of privacy?
    Jeeez, they make my blood boil. :( :(

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