Posts Tagged ‘Privacy’

Google does care about your privacy. Really. There are videos to prove it.

Thursday, December 20th, 2007

Just saw this item about a new video series that helps Google users who are concerned about their privacy. “The Google Privacy Channel” on YouTube offer various hints about things like:

and my favorite:

  • The Google bloopers reel, which shows the usually-smart and frequently-rich Googlers making mistakes and looking occasionally awkward. (see below)

The Google privacy debate is ongoing, but these videos are timely considering recent objections and concerns about new social networking features that are being added to Google Reader, Gmail and Google Chat.

Incidentally, the most popular videos (according to the number of people who have viewed them so far) are about the following topics:

  1. Unsubscribing your phone number (2,089)
  2. Using Picasa (1,892)
  3. Removing images from Street View (661)
  4. Controlling your history settings (400)
  5. Managing your Google calendar’s share settings (322)

Here’s that Google blooper’s video for your viewing pleasure:

Google could really hurt my self-image by asking if I'm fugly

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

There was a huge protest when Google debuted paid search ads in Gmail. People are still debating whether this is a violation of privacy, or just good business practice.

Personally, I don’t mind too much that Google peers into my inbox to read my messages and serve me relevant ads. Partly this is because I make my money through Internet business models and appreciate the forward-thinking (and money-making) brains behind Google, and partly because I just don’t have any secret e-mail that I want kept private. Yes, for you privacy advocates, I understand (and agree) that we have a right to privacy. But Gmail is a free, commercial service and no one is being forced to use it. So I don’t mind the ads.

Until today when I opened my inbox and found this:

Gmail FUGLY ad

Isn’t Google supposed to be reading my e-mail and delivering me relevant advertising? How is this relevant? Do they suddenly have a camera on me, too? Am I fugly?!

So I couldn’t resist, I clicked the link because I had to find out if I am fugly, and the link took me to the World Of Quizzes, where I had a chance to take the “Are You Ugly Quiz.”

Are you UglyI know you are dying to find out the verdict, but I can’t tell you because the quiz was all a front for some terrible co-registration marketing service.

WARNING: Do not be sucked in by this quiz even to attempt to discover if you are ugly. I actually took the quiz (as part of my research for this post, really!), but I was subjected to AT LEAST 50 ads, and I never saw the results of the survey. I am not exaggerating. I quit before it was over when I started having to click off 20 check boxes saying “no I am not interested” on each page.

It appears that Prospectiv is the source of this site – and the nightmarish number of ads. (At least according to the logo on the quiz pages.) I would love to hear some stats from them on how many people actually become leads as a result of this lead capture methodology – and if anyone that takes the survey actually makes it to the end to find out their results. I am all for creative marketing, but this example seems to take it too far.