Google using Gmail to build psychological profiles
Google’s corporate leadership understands that increased privacy regulations could torpedo its entire business model and the company takes quite a lot of space on its SEC filing disclosing the dangers to its investors:
Privacy concerns relating to elements of our technology could damage our reputation and deter current and potential users from using our products and services…
We also face risks from legislation that could be passed in the future. For example, there is a risk that state legislatures will attempt to regulate the automated scanning of email messages in ways that interfere with our Gmail free advertising-supported web mail service. Any such legislation could make it more difficult for us to operate or could prohibit the aspects of our Gmail service that uses computers to match advertisements to the content of a user’s email message when email messages are viewed using the service. This could prevent us from implementing the Gmail service in any affected states and impair our ability to compete in the email services market…
That is something to ponder about.
I have switched to Fastmail and you should too :). Here is a very brief blogpost on why I moved.