Friday, July 29, 2011

Microsoft's Gmail Man Ad

Mary-Jo Foley found a Microsoft ad that tries to convince businesses to choose Office 365 instead of Google Apps because Gmail shows targeted ads. Microsoft created a character called Gmail Man, a postman that doesn't care about people's privacy and reads their messages to find related ads.

The irony is that the paid version of Google Apps doesn't show ads, even though administrators can choose to enable them. I thought that the whole "Gmail reads my mail" myth was debunked back in 2004 and people realized that online email services already used algorithms to index messages and to find spam.

"It was a fascinating angle in 2005 while Gmail was still new and under all kinds of scrutiny, but today, who cares that your emails are automatically scanned, really? Even before Gmail, ISP's already had the ability to read all your emails, but it has never really stopped anyone from using the email service of their choice," thinks C├ędric Beust, a former Googler.

{ via Daring Fireball }