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GMail privacy redux

thought of something that brings back the privacy question

     
11:38 pm on Jul 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Many people here on WW reported that as soon as you visit a page w/ the google toolbar, that page gets spidered. While it's understandable from Google's point of view, personally I think it's a privacy concern, because some pages are not meant to be seen and it's perhaps a bit too aggressive.

But what about gmail? What if you took private pictures and stuck them somewhere on your server and emailed it to a friend? Will google cache the data they spidered from our gmail and then go after url's it found that were privately sent to a friend?

(I doubt they would do this, but I don't remember anyone mentioning it w/ all the hoopla surrounding privacy concerns, so I thought I'd bring it up.) Has anyone tested if this happens?

1:31 am on July 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I doubt it. In google's policy, it states:

Google is NOT reading your mail. Privacy is an issue we take very seriously. Gmail is a technology-based program.

1:46 am on July 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I would doubt even the fist assumption (about googlebar) as that would then expose unlinked pages beyond forms -- and that's not happening.
7:35 pm on July 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I agree, google doesn't seem to be the type of company that would get themselves into trouble.
8:48 pm on July 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Well I would have doubted that they'd send users to pages just because they've been seen by the toolbar, but it has been reported widely (even echoed by Brett Tabke somewhere) that the spider comes 10 minutes after being seen by google toolbar. If I recall correctly Googleguy denied it but said that even if it were true, that he believes it would have been covered by Google's TOS and would not be a violation. If not for the toolbar thing, I wouldn't have brought up the gmail thing.