[thelist] RE: sending mail to someone you've never met

Steve Lewis nepolon at worlddomination.net
Fri Oct 1 14:55:46 CDT 2004

M. Seyon wrote:

>> To my mind, the gmail invite was not commercial.
> It's not commercial to you, but it is to google. Google's entire 
> business model seems to be largely built on selling advertising, of 
> varying types - AdSense, paid listings, etc. Every additional person 
> they sign up to gmail is more targeted advertising they can sell.

Very well put.  I would add that there could be a perceived betrayal 
of trust as well.  By sending a Gmail invite, you (and I am referring 
to Andrea, not marc) share the recipient's email address with a third 
party. (It is my understanding that GMail invites are sent by 
providing the recipient's address into a page on Google's site and 
hitting submit, but I confess I have never seen this to verify it.)

Because of the concerns about privacy and UCE/UBE, any time you share 
someone else's email address with a third party, you are potentially 
compromising their privacy, and subjecting them to more spam.

Just because you have agreed to accept Google's privacy policy, 
doesn't mean that everyone will.

This is particularly problematic in the world of eCards and other 
"mail this to a friend" links, where the service provider has a 
commercial business model, yet still provides free service to 
consumers...clearly that provider has a conflict of interest in 
protecting your privacy.

Your Level Of Paranoia May Vary.
Steve Lewis

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