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Aghaster

Gmail profiling you?

21 posts in this topic

I noticed something today while checking my email on gmail. The sponsored links are directly linked to the content of my emails. For example, I have a couple of emails from the rdesktop-devel mailing list and I see a couple of ads for thin clients and virtual desktop solutions. Does anybody know what google exactly does? Do they only check email headers for the titles? Do they also search for keywords in the emails themselves? Is it a coincidence?

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They search for keywords in the emails themselves, this was big news when it was first released.

Gmail does have a controversial aspect: the way it handles advertising. Gmail automatically scans e-mail and displays ads that may be relevant to messages' content. Gmail's privacy policy states that no humans view your e-mail; that only a limited set of employees can access user accounts for quality, security, audit, and other internal business purposes; and that any such access is recorded.

and from google themselves:

Targeted ads in Gmail

...

In Gmail, users will see text ads and links to related pages that are relevant to the content of their messages.

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You're just now noticing this? Did you not read a single thing about gmail since 2003? Google even says they do this plainly when you sign up.

They're the same context-sensitive ads as on web pages, only they gather keywords from the body of your email instead of a website. If you don't like it, don't use gmail.

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They do that in all types of major use online clients. It's in Myspace also.

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I'm pretty sure that this was the entire reason Google decided to give you a free account with one gig of storage when the standard was like 4 megs.

Edited by decoder
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As said before, this was big news back when gmail was launched.

Many hacktivsts and hackers in general make warnings about the problems with webmail services in genera. Google is just one of them. Even if they do exactly what they say they do which is 0 emails humanly red, the possibility is there for your data to be used by whomever wants and can.

Put simpler than that, your date security is as strong as your trust level twards google, and that is not a 'technical' protection, it's simply a matter of trust. Trust is a bad thing to mix with private information.

Search for "pgp gmail", there are such things that protects your data in a more secure way.

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I see I've missed something quite big, it happens to everybody I guess.

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I would worry more about the Google Spy Cars, to be honest.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/12/30/madrid_street_view/

I don't understand how that's an invasion of privacy when she's pissing on a public street.

C'mon, she was *behind* the car

Oh okay.. but wasn't the google car too?? It's okay to piss in front of people driving cars.. but not cameras.. I got the distinction now!

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I see I've missed something quite big, it happens to everybody I guess.

Welcome to several years ago. :)

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the existence of Google spy cars is a little bit scary.

My wife's parents live just down the street from us. If you do the Street View on our street, one of the spy cars got her dad walking from our house to theirs. It's kind of funny, each "step" you take shows him further down the road. And in a couple pictures, he's looking directly at the camera.

I don't know what the spy cars look like, but they can't be too outlandish because he said he didn't really remember that particular instance (i.e. there weren't huge cameras or spaceship-looking vehicles riding around).

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the existence of Google spy cars is a little bit scary.

My wife's parents live just down the street from us. If you do the Street View on our street, one of the spy cars got her dad walking from our house to theirs. It's kind of funny, each "step" you take shows him further down the road. And in a couple pictures, he's looking directly at the camera.

I don't know what the spy cars look like, but they can't be too outlandish because he said he didn't really remember that particular instance (i.e. there weren't huge cameras or spaceship-looking vehicles riding around).

car.jpg

586px-GoogleStreetViewCar.jpg

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I can see not noticing the Beetle, but that shit in Germany would be a little harder to miss.

I remember reading something about Google driving down private roads and it being somewhat of a controversy. Which is kind of stupid since all "private road" means is that the municipality has no obligation to maintain that road. It doesnt mean that you cant go there. I can understand if your average joe doesn't know that, but it really amuses me that the people who live on them haven't figured it out.

Also, don't forget that you are caught on some kind of camera a thousand times a day. The only difference is that you never see that footage. Therefore, Google Spy Cars are not scary at all.

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I see I've missed something quite big, it happens to everybody I guess.

Except those who don't use GMail (or Google at all, for that matter!)

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I can see not noticing the Beetle, but that shit in Germany would be a little harder to miss.

I remember reading something about Google driving down private roads and it being somewhat of a controversy. Which is kind of stupid since all "private road" means is that the municipality has no obligation to maintain that road. It doesnt mean that you cant go there. I can understand if your average joe doesn't know that, but it really amuses me that the people who live on them haven't figured it out.

Also, don't forget that you are caught on some kind of camera a thousand times a day. The only difference is that you never see that footage. Therefore, Google Spy Cars are not scary at all.

Yeah They actually sued google over that, but I'm not sure as to what came of that lawsuit. They were just pissed that google took pictures of their property.

But google does scare me a bit, it's their policy to never delete emails, so even if you delete a message it will remain on google's back-ups. I have a GrandCentral line so technically google also has access to my voicemail, but I'm not sure what google does with those, if they keep them or not.

I also remember reading a while back that google showed intrest in creating a database of people's medical records for use by hospitals, but I'm not sure what came of it.

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I heard Google Checkout is going to be incorporating RFID implant-based payments into their next beta release.

Heh, j/k.

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Google gives you the opportunity NOT to signup for thier services, but if you do just be careful what content you have sent there! If you are smart about it, and learn to manipulate thier services you can use gmail to also find alot of cool pages based on the content you have sent to your account!

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