Posted in War on Privacy

Sam Varghese: Bye, bye Gmail, even snooping has its limits

Sam Varghese explains his decision to cut ties and Leave Google Behind:

Last week I shut down the last of my three Gmail accounts. From 2007, to a greater or lesser extent, these three accounts were used for various purposes, initially enthusiastically, later reluctantly.

Why get away from Gmail altogether? The company has always been snooping on email and feeding through advertisements based on keywords in the mail. But from March 1, the spying will become over-arching, ostensibly to provide a better customer experience.

I want no part of it.

He adds, eloquently:

The internet existed long before Google did. It is built on free and open source software, with protocols that are open as well. Genuine geeks and nerds did the building without any thought of making money.

Now we have advertising and marketing companies masquerading as technology companies and trying to squeeze every stray dollar, rouble, pound, euro and dirham out of people. And doing it under the guise of “improving the customer experience”.

No one company should be allowed to monopolise the services on the net and milk user data to sell its ads or any other service or product. There’s a time to wake up and for me that time is now.

If more people came to this conclusion every day, Google would find it much harder to wage its war on privacy. We need more people to wake up and realize what’s happening. Everyone should care about user privacy and what companies like Google do with their data. Everyone should be cognizant of the consequences of oversharing.