Thursday, September 14, 2006

Google has your life (maybe)

There has been a lot of publicity lately about all the searches stored by big search engines. Aside from pure IP address storage that Google performs for each search, if a user is logged into the account, all searches executed from the tabs of the current browser (such as Firefox) will be associated with that user and stored on Google's computers. This is not news.

However, there is another side to the Google mail system as well - people like it because it allows them a lot of space for storage but they also forget that their mail is searchable by the Google company. This means that if they make their a primary email account, all their bank conformations, money transfers, airline tickets, reservations in restaurants, car rental confirmations, book purchases and a vast amount of other stuff people nowadays do online (all this stuff sends you an email confirmation) will be searchable by the "Do no evil" search engine company. This is basically all of your financial, leasure and other life data stored in one spot for someone to mine.

Additonally, many people think that their Gmail account is just another name in the Internet universe. However, once you start receiving email confirmations for various purchases and memberships, this "account" becomes associated with a physical address, credit card etc.

Many people don't think before they start storing their life online.


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