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GMail: When Monkeys Fly Out of My Butt!

Just one little catch with Gmail: Google’s computers will be scanning your messages and sending you ads based on message content. (I guess I’d get Preparation H ads for that title.) Hey, I trust them–not. Though the company claims it won’t read users’ email or share personal information–please.

Google compares Gmail to spam filters, “which have been used for years without raising privacy concerns.” Talk about not getting the picture. Talk about confusing form with function! A spam filter is designed to protect you, based on incoming mail. It is not designed to bring commercials into your personal communications. I give it to them for moxy and creativity. Big Brother married Clear Channel, and begat Gmail.

This merry disregard for privacy is not restricted to commerce. I also didn’t register with the Do Not Call database, after reading its privacy policy.

Aside: I’ve heard talk about librarians having hackfests to think through interesting problems. I think we could use some breakout sessions for thinkfests or ethicsfests or even just letstalkcommonsenseinthedigitalenvironmentfests.

I still remember the time at some library back in the day I installed this Really Kewl Tool that showed me in real-time every action patrons were taking at our Internet computers. I could see every site, every page they were linking to. I showed it to my boss, who said, “very nice–now don’t use that again.” Exactly.

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