General Question

Thammuz's avatar

What's a reliable email service that doesn't share the pervasive information mining policies of Microsoft and Google?

Asked by Thammuz (9262points) November 22nd, 2010

I used to use my ISP’s email service, but lately its email server has been added in a handful of blacklist, one of which is used by Microsoft, making most of my friends unreachable because they use hotmail.

I don’t want to use gmail or hotmail because of the many rumors and not-so-rumors about their constant information mining in the users’ emails to tailor advertisement etc. but i still need a new and reliable email provider, possibly with a decent storage space.

What would you suggest?

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9 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

I suggest disinformation. Add extraneous text to each email to throw off the data miners.

camertron's avatar

Microsoft and Google aren’t selling your information – they’re just targeting you with advertising. There’s nothing wrong with that. If you’re concerned, I would suggest running an ad blocker in your browser. AdBlock Plus works wonders in Firefox.

Thammuz's avatar

@camertron I know they don’t sell my info, i still don’t want them to store it.

Anyone with a little computer know-how/social engineering knowledges knows how easy it is for sufficiently skilled people to access supposedly confidential information, that’s why, for instance, i don’t use my actual credit card on the internet (only prepaied ones).

Not that there is anything that important to know about me, but still i don’t see how anything good can come from it, so why not avoid it?

Also, i do use ABP, the ads are not the problem.

camertron's avatar

@Thammuz ah, ok I understand your concern on a higher level now. The “good” that can come from using services like Gmail is quite significant. Gmail offers a lot of great features, it’s free, it’s fast, and it offers a ton of storage. In my book, those are definitely pluses that would outweigh the negatives of storing your information on 3rd party servers. Google has historically had a great track record when it comes to securing their data and I know they take it very seriously, so it doesn’t bother me.

For you, it looks like the issue really boils down to trust. The only way to have truly secure email is to host the mail server yourself. Even if you find a company that doesn’t share the information mining policies of Google and Microsoft, you still don’t know what they’ll do with your personal info. Chances are it’ll still be stored on their servers, which is something you’d like to avoid. Unless you’re willing to allow a third party to provide you with email access and thereby store your personal information, you’ll have to do it yourself.

Thammuz's avatar

@camertron I guess you’re right. And at least with Google we (in theory) know exactly what information and to what extent they’re used. Which is as good as it can possibly get.

Until I’ll be able to make my own mail server (Read: as soon as i move out of my parents’ house and build a cheap mail server/firewall for my new home) I guess I’ll have to rely on some corporation.

Suggestions are still welcome, though.

Thammuz's avatar

@YARNLADY I didn’t mean a program, i meant a service provider, like @gmail.com and such

kgd's avatar

@Thammuz I’d also like to point out that if most of the people you know use gmail or hotmail, then these companies already have access to any correspondence sent TO those email addresses…
Fortunately there is way more awareness now than pre-Snowden. Unfortunately awareness hasn’t been enough to impact these companies financially so they’re not changing voluntarily and the culture has yet to demand it politically.

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