I didn't end that headline with a question mark because, what I am about to relate WILL happen. Hence, this is not a prediction. And... it can even apply to your chess life too.
Evil Google has its admirers. Those who fall all over themselves about how they use it to search, how they use their "free" tools, their maps, etc. Wake up, they aren't doing this for you but to "increase" their Search Engine possibilities. This, in the end will be a nightmare George Orwell hadn't contemplated... Big Brother IN your shower!
Announced this morning Google is experimenting with the idea of using YOUR own gmail in Search Results! Wow, sounds great doesn't it? You wrote an email to George O. in 1984 (I know, email wasn't around then, this is a scenario) about some opening variation of the Ruy Lopez and you didn't save all your SENT messages because your box was getting just too darn full. And besides, you thought you would never need it. Wrongo.
... you discover that that email could be of real value in something you are NOW working on. Holy cow, you "might" be able to have Google retrieve that for you. Google's Search (and Bing's, etc.) has one purpose in mind, to sell advertising and PPC (pay per clicks). Anything to get you using that search browser more frequently has the potential for showing you more ads, more purchase possibilities, more revenue stream from online buyers... and the list boggles the unimaginative mind.
did you write something indiscreet about your mate (I am not talking chess here)? You may or may not be right about your buddy NEVER revealing something like this but that doesn't mean Google wouldn't! Or let's say you wrote something about your BOSS you wouldn't even put on Facebook?
HOW ABOUT THIS?
You wrote to your partners about business strategies that you wouldn't want the enemy to know about. Put it in your email and you are potential for Post-It Toasties!
If you are a Google lover and believe they wouldn't go this far you just haven't been paying attention. Recently (and this has happened over and over) Google had tried to offer a payout to authors whose books they scanned (without permission) of about $125 million. Now, how do these authors actually get paid? Through a guild of some sort--an Author's Guild. And what if you aren't a member? It's all horse puckey. A judge threw that settlement out. Google said they were benevolently doing this for wider access to information to the world (how altruistic!) And realize that Eric Schmidt (former CEO of Google) revealed to Google about Apple's iPhone while he was on the Apple Board of Directors (a blunder by Steve Jobs). There are, actually, many other examples of deceit by Google.
Guess what? It was recently revealed, in an EMAIL, that this (book scanning) wasn't Google's goal at all. They didn't care about author's--just the advertising need for greed. "Hoist by their own petard" as the saying goes.
Recently Samsung was discovered to have destroyed many, many, internal emails regarding their upcoming case with Apple (each suing each other). The judge warned against this but they did it anyway. Right then, if I were wearing a black robe, I would have found for the other side--this is totally against the law to destroy evidence (see the movie with Gene Hackman Class Action). A person I know who was in the US Army Military Intelligence corps in South Korea told me he was offered $150,000 when he left the Army to work for South Korean import/exporters. I asked him "why" he didn't take the offer (this was 15 years ago). He had a four word answer: "You can't trust them." Looks like Google might fit that Bill of Goods too!
With this NEW (?) concept for invasion of things you thought were not to be known to anyone else, you have just revealed yourself to be defenseless. For example if I wrote, "Joe Blow is a crook and I wouldn't invite him to come to my Fall Chess Classic if it would make the difference between losing money or making it." Let's say Joe has been suspicious about me and he "Googles" Fall Chess Classic, his name, emails-- it might show up, had I been using gmail, that there might be a letter (email) announcing that Joe is a "lowlife." You better start sanitizing your emails if you use gmail.
That's small potatoes. Can you imagine politically what this could do? Let's say your chief of staff writes the president an email, "The opposition is just stumbling in the dark they have no proof we lied when we said... I just hope that Suzie Q. never comes to light." Toast time. In France it would be French Toast.
Google could even find itself on the wrong end of the stick with this, used against themselves! It was reported that Larry Page (co-founder of Google), was pretty ticked when someone wrote an article about Google, the founders' lifestyles, how much they made etc. BY searching the web using Google! AND... if Google promises they won't use this in an evil way, look at the first sentence of the second paragraph I wrote above. Someone once said that Satan's greatest lie was to convince others he didn't exist!
Before I signed up for gmail (reluctantly, as I was having some email issues at the time with my provider) I read the whole agreement. It was so long I had to take a vacation in the middle of reading it! Basically it says this: We can read and store and use your email. Your email will no longer be of use to us after (say) 90 days and we will delete stuff older than 90 days (whatever). I am sure there is a caveat that they can change their mind on this too, any time they want. If you believe Google is about Telling the Truth, you my dear friend, are Naive.
We've all been busted. To that idiot who got caught on the 16th floor of an elevator in a tall business building in NYC with his secretary by his wife's sister??? Ah my little child, that will be kid's stuff. If you thought divorce trials can be bad, you ain't seen nothing yet. In the end, as said in the movie (another movie) All the President's Men, "Follow the Money."
And what about those who send their credit card info to someone else in a gmail? Ah, the unscrupulous could now know. The mail service might not be the fastest, the best deliverer of info, and they may be having trouble balancing their budget because they have too many overpaid employees, but it is fairly private.
Georgie O..... you didn't know what you were writing about. George you were an Amateur.