My personal view on my experience and the whole privacy issue is that Google needs to do what it needs to do. After all, it’s a business and it’s avowed goal is to “…organize the world’s information and present it in useful ways…” – the “database of intentions”.
So without further ado, in what will warm the cockles of marketeers hearts everywhere (heck it may even put marketeer’s out of business
if when Google gets really good over time but that’s a story for another day) and cause others to cringe and cry foul, here is my observation:
1) I sent an email to my friend Amit – reproduced below (with the most relevant text)
… there are a bunch of contacts/email backup/restore/share solutions out there (http://www.migrationwiz.com/, http://shuttlecloud.com/, http://www.yippiemove.com/, http://www.liveoffice.com). The BIG and ONLY issue is would you trust a small company with your DATA. I expect that Google/Microsoft to support this already specially since there are people migrating to/from their platforms all the time.
2) Within minutes of sending this email, GMail started showing me the banner below in GMail
In light of what I observed and described above, Target‘s method to determine if a customer is pregnant, is just a lot of hard work and almost quaint. Andrew Pole and others of his ilk may as well look for a new job or a new career.
Let’s take another example. Say you received news (via email or IM or Google Voice?) that your great aunt Gertrude died. Next say you go to a website and there is an ad that gives you discounts on flowers, cards, funeral services and air-fare or rather bus fare to (surprise) Abilene, Texas (Aunt Gertrude’s place of residence) and … you get the point. Crass and creepy, right?