key question

MFPA expires2010 at
Wed Mar 17 21:21:37 CET 2010

Hash: SHA512


On Wednesday 17 March 2010 at 12:58:37 AM, in
<mid:Pine.GSO.4.61.1003161106110.25275 at>, reynt0

> On Mon, 15 Mar 2010 14:49:32 +0000 MFPA wrote:   . . .
>> When the reader is Big Brother, or a potential
>> employer or blackmailer etc., that might matter. When
>> the reader is a random stranger, I prefer to think it
>> doesn't. I'm confident I don't post anything that
>> should prompt anybody to identify and come after me.
>   . . .

> Of course, if only one person subscribed to the list is
> using a gmail address, Google will have the opportunity
> to run their analytical algorithms on all posts, and
> add information they find about content, interests,
> attitudes, etc to the profiles they try to maintain
> about everyone in the known universe.

Unfortunately, even if nobody subscribes to the list with a gmail
address we have no way of knowing if anybody archives their mail to
one. Anyway, the list archives are available various places on the
internet, some of which don't make the best job of hiding people's
email addresses; Google (or anybody else) have the opportunity to
analyse the posts there.

> And isn't their
> business model based on making all that info
> conveniently usable for  anyone in the known or unknown
> universe who has a few dollars to partner with them or
> maybe even just plain pay for it?

Yes, their old "don't be evil" motto should have been suffixed with
"(do as we say, not as we do)." (-;

Unfortunately, refusing to email people on gmail addresses, as
advocated at and other places is
ineffective, since the recipient can simply give you a different
address and set it to forward to their gmail account.

Using rather than  as your search site feels as if it should be more
private but scroogle's lack of anything labelled "privacy policy" is
of concern.

> I have been appreciating the comments by MFPA (who
> seems to be in England?, a country with its own
> problems about personal privacy, cf
> ) as an expression of careful fastidiousness about
> privacy.

Yes, we are spied on by all sorts of entities, from police and local
government to agencies of the national government to private entities
running petrol stations, car parks, shopping centres, etc. I always
think the correct response to seeing a sign like, "this forecourt is
monitored by CCTV with ANPR," would be to cover your number plates
before entering and uncover them after leaving.

We are routinely asked for completely irrelevant personal details when
signing up for utility or banking services or when applying for a job,
and many people are still daft enough to supply them without question.

As well as spying on us, the UK government and its agencies have a
record of not protecting the information it holds. See, for example,

These breaches alone make it vital to be as careful as reasonably
possible when sharing your personal information, and not to share
anything the other party cannot demonstrate is necessary. Giving a
unique email address each time, for example, helps to identify who is
failing to safeguard your data and should not be trusted.

- --
Best regards

MFPA                    mailto:expires2010 at

Don't cry because it is over - smile because it happened


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