If you go to your Google Dashboard and poke around, you’ll find that Google actively and automatically reads all your emails.
No – not scans your emails – Google uses artificial intelligence software systems to read, analyze and interpret your private email correspondence and then stores detailed records about you. For example, I used to use Gmail. Here is some of the information that Google logged (permanently) in their archive based on reading my email.
Google’s spying software recognized each time I booked a flight and interpreted and stored this in their archive. This data is not bulk delete-able – you have to select each order, individually and go through some options to delete each item, one at a time. Which is impractical for an account that has been used for any length of time. It may be possible to bulk delete this data by deleting all of your emails on your GMail account (I’ve deleted most of them already).
Google also read emailed confirmations of purchases and logged this information in their database:
Because I used to be a user of GMail, and all of my Amazon purchases were confirmed with an email sent to my GMail account, Google has a detailed record of every purchase I ever made on Amazon and EBay.
Google claims that as of 2017, they have stopped reading emails for the purpose of ad targeting. Then why are they assembling this database of purchases? What is it being used for? I have been unable to find an explanation of why this information is collected.
They do note in the pages of “privacy” stuff that they scan emails. Note the bullet point “Order receipts or confirmations received in GMail” – which confirms their machine intelligence reads all of your emails, makes notes, and logs their interpretation. We do not know what Google does with this information.
Without question, Google is reading your financial related emails and bills/invoices from services such as your utility company.
Presumably Google is also reading personal information such as emails that may contain medical and financial information. Including emails you have sent to and from your spouse.
I RECOMMEND EVERYONE AVOID USING GOOGLE SERVICES. VERIZON/YAHOO ACKNOWLEDGES THEIR SYSTEMS READ YOUR BANKING AND FINANCIAL RECORDS SENT TO YOU IN EMAIL.
This is not a matter of whether or not their database of private information is secure (it’s questionable). Because my email address at Gmail was a <common-first-name common-last-name> form, numerous people send me their own private email too! Google reads all of that and draws erroneous conclusions.
Every week I receive email destined for other people, on my account.
- I have received private correspondence about a divorce proceeding (alleging law violations) that was intended for a lawyer with a name similar to mine.
- I recently received announcement of someone going to hospice (has since passed away as I received that too) – for someone that was allegedly my father! (My Dad passed away some time ago – this email was sent to me incorrectly.)
- I received a full draft copy of the final comprehensive exam of a Paris, France European business school, seeking last minute comments. I could have posted this comprehensive exam online in advance of the exam date.
- I received an advanced copy of a well known newspaper’s story exposing corruption – the story was intended for the contract graphic artist’s pre-publication review. His name is similar to mine and the item was mis-addressed to me. I could have posted it on my blog in advance of their publication.
- Every week I receive announcements of bills not being paid or accounts being cut off (not mine but of other people who entered the wrong address).
- One of the largest health care providers in the nation emailed to me, literally a random stranger on the Internet, the entire 150 page medical record of one of their patients, with a name similar to mine. Unbelievable. Presumably Google’s AI software read this record and made erroneous conclusions about my health.
- There’s a new Paypal-like service called Venmo where someone entered the wrong email address. I receive all of their purchase info. If I want, I have full access to their Venmo financial account (all I need to do is say I forgot my password).
Meanwhile, Google is looking over my shoulder and reading emails that have nothing to do with me – and compiling a dossier of all my purchases.
Because of this, I avoid using Google services where possible. Because I have an Android phone, there are some things I cannot readily opt out of. However, I have moved 99% of my email elsewhere. I keep location services turned off when I can (UPDATE: You cannot actually turn off Location Services – Google continues to track you even when this is turned off). I routinely log in and delete my Google records – of those that I can access.
As we learned by downloading our Facebook and Twitter dossiers, these online services are amassing databases containing large quantities of garbage. This is the dark secret of online surveillance companies – first they don’t want you to know what they collect, but second, much and sometimes most of what they collect is crap. Yet they are selling this crap to third parties to use for advertising and propaganda campaigns.
Facebook and Google are both acting evil and not being honest with us about what they collect (in detailed terms), specifics of what they use the data for and how they use it and who else has access to it (in any form). Most of us now know – vaguely – that these companies collect data. But we do not know why they collect what they do, how it is interpreted, who has access to the information and when, or if, it is disposed of. In the case of Facebook, the public has received about a hundred different explanations and a hundred apologies for oops, we did it again!
 Apple and Microsoft say their business models do not depend upon collecting voluminous data about you and selling it to other people. Both companies sell products and services directly, rather than selling access to dossiers. Microsoft says they only collect personal information when it is used specifically to improve your experience and then only for that purpose. It is not used for advertising, they say. This suggests email provided by Apple or Microsoft has less spying going on than those of the ad-based companies. A former Microsoft information security manager, and a former Microsoft senior vice president told me that Microsoft is far less invasive than Google or Facebook and both said they have chosen not use to certain social media services because they had read their privacy policies and found them to be, effectively, anti-piracy policies.