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Gmail and (lack of) privacy

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VileReynard
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Gmail and (lack of) privacy

Just discovered that Gmail has been trawling my online shopping for the last few years, so that when Amazon or ebay or anyone sends an order confirmation to gmail account they capture the details.

They admit this - if you read closely at https://myaccount.google.com/payments-and-subscriptions

Purchases

Your transactions, including deliveries and online orders, gathered from Google services like your Assistant and Gmail

I've downloaded relevant information for each capture as JSON files - but Gmail will also display it in a viewable format.

I've complained - citing the GDPR - but I think I'll be ignored.

If I wanted to use a proper email service that doesn't capture both meta-data and data is there a recommended low cost alternative?

Ideally, it would be like Gmail in terms of features, reliability etc but doesn't use my data for commercial ends.

Just want a low-volume email service I can trust. :rolleyes:

"In The Beginning Was The Word, And The Word Was Aardvark."

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Re: Gmail and (lack of) privacy

That’s the problem with free services, you are essentially the product.

I’ve been looking at other services as well and haven’t found one that matches gmail in terms of functionality sadly.
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Re: Gmail and (lack of) privacy

The problem with finding/using a more "secure/private" type email service, is that it is like closing the stable doors after the horses have gone runabout....  The information already garnered, is "out there"... :shocked:

 

 

VileReynard
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Re: Gmail and (lack of) privacy

Yes - I know about how gmail makes money out of me.

Just didn't realise they are intercepting the full text of order confirmations and hotel/flight bookings and constructing their databases on me.

Thought that tracking where I go on the interweb was sufficient payback for their greed.

Since running my own email server would be ridiculous for the number of emails involved, I'd be prepared to pay a modest amount to at least partially escape the clutches of Gmail.

I mostly don't use Google, don't allow 3rd party cookies and block adverts on most sites so Googles efforts are mostly nullified. :grin:

I did try a basic free email called mail.com which is like Plusnet's webmail - not very good but it does appear to offer a 2GB cloud storage for files - bit like dropbox etc.

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Baldrick1
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Re: Gmail and (lack of) privacy

I don't know what facilities you need. I have a personal domain through namesco. This comes with a free 100MB storage POP3 email service with up to five addresses and web access if required. Depending on the length of the renewal it costs less than £10 per year. I consider this a good price for a reliable service with no spying, adverts etc. 

daveplus
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Re: Gmail and (lack of) privacy

I have used a Hotmail account for many years. Does anyone know whether they collect the same kind of information as Gmail?

Dave

VileReynard
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Re: Gmail and (lack of) privacy

Undoubtedly Hotmail have been selling your information for many years - it costs money to run a email service.

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VileReynard
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Re: Gmail and (lack of) privacy


@Baldrick1 wrote:

I don't know what facilities you need. I have a personal domain through namesco. This comes with a free 100MB storage POP3 email service with up to five addresses and web access if required. Depending on the length of the renewal it costs less than £10 per year. I consider this a good price for a reliable service with no spying, adverts etc. 


Good point - I prefer to use IMAP & over the years have managed to accumulate 500MB of emails (which would need cleaning up)!

The other thing is that names.co.uk appear to use Microsoft email software & I would prefer an open source solution, but your basic point of a personal domain seems to be the way to go.

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DaveyH
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Re: Gmail and (lack of) privacy

If privacy:is your goal the I'd suggest ProtonMail.

 

https://protonmail.com

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Re: Gmail and (lack of) privacy

You say running your own email server would be ridiculous but you can get a VPS and set it up using open source apps for £5 a month, ssl is free using letsencrypt. Domains are about £5 a year.
Could well be the cheapest option
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daveplus
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Re: Gmail and (lack of) privacy

Anyoine got anything specific regarding Hotmail?

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Re: Gmail and (lack of) privacy


@VileReynard wrote:

 

Since running my own email server would be ridiculous for the number of emails involved, I'd be prepared to pay a modest amount to at least partially escape the clutches of Gmail.

 


Just set something up on a RPi and be done with it. Sure you might have the initial hardware cost but after that it's just a minor bit of electric and your ISP fee - which you'll be paying already anyway.

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VileReynard
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Re: Gmail and (lack of) privacy

I have signed up for a limited free protonmail account which includes a 500MB mailbox. They make strong claims that no information is divulged to anyone and it doesn't include adverts. It has an option to send a notification email to your old email address when a email arrives - not sure how this works.

If I want something more like Gmail then I need to have a domain and get 5GB of storage - the downside is that that would cost about £50 per year.

Also, the free option doesn't allow IMAP access - which is useful in Gmail for synchronising devices or taking backups.

So I like the secure email thing - but a cheaper option than £50 is what I'm really looking for.

I shall certainly transfer any online shopping accounts to protonmail and gradually switch the bulk of my email over as well.

I don't know anything specifically about hotmail - but in common with free accounts the lure of all that information given for free they won't be able to resist selling it to advertisers and their agents.

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VileReynard
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Re: Gmail and (lack of) privacy


@7up wrote:

@VileReynard wrote:

Since running my own email server would be ridiculous for the number of emails involved, I'd be prepared to pay a modest amount to at least partially escape the clutches of Gmail.


Just set something up on a RPi and be done with it. Sure you might have the initial hardware cost but after that it's just a minor bit of electric and your ISP fee - which you'll be paying already anyway.


I actually have a RPi - its even currently plugged into an ethernet switch but not used for anything!!!

Actually, anytime I've ever looked at the documentation for an email server it makes War & Peace look like a mere pamphlet!

Is there a very simple way (suitable for idiots) to set up a mail server that doesn't involve lots of fine-tuning of configurations?

Any links you have would be welcome, because when I try it in Debian it descends into a mess of huge configuration files.

Is a non-working practice setup feasible before I have to go off and buy a Domain name?

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Re: Gmail and (lack of) privacy

Although i have an early RPi sat in a draw redundant, i've rarely used it and as such still don't really know much about it, configuring it or writing code for it. Due to that, i can't really comment.

 

What i will say is that to accept mail, you need a smtp server. The smtp protocol is typically used by a client to send email - eg your mail client on your PC (eg outlook) connects to a smtp server, transmits the email and then that smtp server will deliver it to the target server - which also happens to be a smtp server. You then use pop3, Imap or a web interface to access the stored mail that was accepted via the smtp protocol.

So, to run a mail server you basically need a smtp server that accepts incoming but also sends outgoing mail. On windows there are several different products out there - some free, some not. On linux everything is meant to be aimed at being for the greater good so you shouldn't have a big problem finding a freebie but setting it up is beyond my ability to assist you with. Linux setups are far too complex IMO and for the often lack of features it does surprise me.

Also you'd need your domain or a free subdomain to be hosted on a dns nameserver somewhere - afraid.org offers this service for free and then you can use an MX record to point it at your IP address so that mail is sent to your server.

 

The only thing I would say about proton mail is that I noticed you mention they offer Imap access. That immediately caused me some concern as to download the headers via imap and the message envelope itself, they'd have to be sent decrypted - or encrypted by the server using a key that your mail client has access to. Now transferring that between web and client autonomously would be nigh on impossible and so it makes me wonder about their claims of the mail being stored on their servers in an encrypted manner that they themselves can not break. It is possible that i'm missing something there on that issue as i'm no expert on cryptography but sending encrypted mail between web and imap using some magic encryption that just *knows* how to decrypt on both seems odd. At the end of the day the only real way to keep your data safe and private is to have it on your own hardware but even then you could always be hacked.

I got fed up with the hassle of it all and so while i'm still with yahoo despite their over zealous intrusion into my mail, i did start on my own webmail to get around all of this ****. I really need to pull my finger out with that.. but my point is if you have any programming skills that might be your best way forward too.

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