Gmail from Google and its Potential Ramifications Essay

2078 Words 9 Pages
Gmail from Google and its Potential Ramifications

Internet technology is accelerating the rate of globalization. Email, in particular, is now one of the fastest ways for us to communicate with each other, and to do business, making our world much smaller and more immediate. This same technology that can enhance our lives and accelerates the pace of global change can also destroy our personal privacy at the same rate.

The newest web based email service, which has gained more attention than most, is Gmail [1]from Google.com. Google currently hosts the most popular Internet search engine world wide. Google proposes to deploy a unique email service that will give users capability not available with other providers; most importantly
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Once fully implemented, Gmail will place Google in a position to do great harm to consumers, by cleverly connecting information that is gleaned from observed behavior with information that is freely offered. The Google search engines respond to more than 200 million search queries per day [4]. Users from all over the world are using Google search engines to mine the Internet for data in all of the major world languages. As a user performs a search, Google places a cookie on their machine with a unique identifier and records the user’s IP address. An enormous database is being built up at the company containing all of the queries that a user performs from a particular machine. Google uses this information to determine page ranking scores that are displayed to other people, who may be searching for the same thing as well as for making improvements to their web site and search technology. Some of this consolidated data can be viewed on the Google Zeitgeist [5] web page. The amalgamation of these queries for a particular user can provide Google with a very accurate profile of that user’s interests and personal habits.

While Google’s economic view seems to operate from the Utilitarian perspective, the greatest common good for the greatest number of people, Google could potentially create a policy of immense privacy invasion. Combining the person’s name and email address in the Gmail

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