People have a choice when it comes to Internet services and software, and Microsoft says that its products are better options for all users out there.
Google responded, suggesting that Microsoft’s sayings that it did not respect users’ privacy and that it limited the control users had over their data were nothing more but myths.
A new post from Microsoft is focused on email and is meant to underline Google’s practices when it comes to users’ emails and messages. The bottom line is that there is no privacy when using Gmail.
Here’s what Microsoft claims:
• Some email services, like Gmail, actually read the contents of your mail (both sent and received, even if you aren’t a Gmail user but just sending to someone who is) in order to decide what kind of ads to serve up to you. They may call it “scanning” and attempt to equate it with less invasive activities like “checking for spam” but it’s quite different. For you, and the people you send mail to, it’s not spam, it’s personal.
• Further, people tend to stay logged into their email service throughout the day. So all Internet searches you do with Google become tied to that same identity.
• Finally, whenever your Gmail account is logged in, videos you watch on YouTube get connected into that same profile. And it’s worth noting that while Google has recently claimed they “aren’t doing anything new,” it’s clear from their letter to Congress that their new policy allows them to cross-index your YouTube viewing information with your Google search behavior (something their policies explicitly prevented them from doing until these changes).
When announcing the said changes to its privacy policies, Google said that they would not make it “any harder to control what gets collected about you.” They also note that these modifications should make everything “simpler,” “easier” and “more consistent.”
One thing that does not add up here is the fact that, as soon as you sign in into your Gmail account, all of your Google searches are logged, Frank X. Shaw, corporate vice president, corporate communications, Microsoft, explains.
“Contrast that with using Hotmail or Office 365. Because we’re not using the contents of your mail to deliver ads, your searches aren’t being linked to that account over time. And because you’re not logged into Gmail, the videos you view on YouTube remain known only to you,” he notes.
Basically, when using Google’s services, to ensure that no one is peeping into your Internet activity when you perform searches or watching videos, you would either need to have multiple accounts to move around, or to use different browsers for different activities.
Or you could simply sign in and out of your account throughout the day, depending on what you would like to do online.
“Or, you can simply switch to Hotmail or Office 365. That sounds a whole lot easier to me. Take a closer look and decide for yourself,” Frank X. Shaw concludes.