Why is Gmail Free?

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You don't pay Gmail with money; but you do pay them with complete unfettered access to your personal correspondence.

With the NSA's PRISM program in the news lately the American people are alarmed and outraged about the encroachments on their privacy.

The government mining your data may indeed be unsettling, but did you know private companies mine your data every day? This is done at a far more detailed and intrusive manner than the government's PRISM program.

Google does provide the Gmail service without charging their customers a monthly fee.  However, they are not doing this out of the kindness of their corporate heart. They use every piece of data that you give them to enrich themselves. Your data from using these services is a multi-billion dollar bonanza.  

Gmail sells targeted ad placement to advertisers based on your private email conversations.  It’s not a coincidence that when you are planning a vacation you suddenly begin seeing advertising for airlines, hotels and car rental. 

It's a Business Transaction.

You give them data and they give you a service. They call it "free" because they have not taken money from you, but your data is far more valuable to them.

If you use their "free" email service you provide Google with the mother-load! Complete access to all of your contacts and correspondence. Their system actively troll through your private messages every minute of every hour of every day.

Lawsuits Have Not Stopped Gmail 

Google was sued in 2011 by a Massachusetts AOL customer who sent email to a friend with a Gmail account. The AOL customer claimed her privacy was invaded. Similar lawsuits were filed in Marin County, Calif., in June 2012, British Columbia in October 2012, and Florida in November 2012. On April 29, two college students filed yet another suit seeking class action status in San Jose, Calif.

  • Marin County, Calif., (PDF)
  • British Columbia (PDF
  • Florida (PDF)
  • Class Action in San Jose, Calif.(PDF

There are currently six active class action lawsuits against Google, all alleging illegal eavesdropping or interception under federal and state wiretapping laws, related to Google’s scanning of emails.

Microsoft Has Not Stopped Gmail

Microsoft began an anti-Gmail ad campaign in 2013 and gathered over 100,000 signatures (Their self-imposed goal) on an online petition asking Google to stop the practice of scanning users email.  However, it's probably naive to think that Gmail will give up it's multibillion dollar advertising business.

Can I get Private Email?

Yes!  Many people today are choosing to go back to a typical transaction where they pay a monthly fee in exchange for email services.  

Look for an established email service that:

  • Is Secure
  • Is Private
  • Requires No Contracts
  • Has Live Phone Technical Support

Private email services do exisit, some like @ecentral.com have been around since the 1990s.

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