Google Apparently Wants To Get Sued Again, Now Including Gmail Content In Search Results

Because Google didn’t learn anything from the Google Buzz privacy debacle, the company has now decided to begin testing the integration of users’ Gmail content into general search results.

So a search for Amazon on Google.com would also bring up a sidebar with e-mails from or related to your Amazon purchases.

Well, that’s all well and good. Until someone’s spouse, significant other, or co-worker unwittingly uses that person’s computer to search for something like “restaurants in Chicago” and up come e-mails about a secret rendezvous at the Rock ‘n’ Roll McDonald’s.

“This is a baby step in a really complicated area,” says the company’s director of product management for universal search about the e-mail results, which Google describes as being in the “limited field trial” stage.

Google hopes to expand the feature to all e-mail providers. It also hopes to similarly integrate all other Google products like Docs, Calendar, Drive.

While we have no problem with making one’s entire Google account searchable from one screen, we think it should be within something like Gmail, where the user already has the expectation of privacy, as opposed to just a Google search that one can do straight from their browser’s nav bar.

For those that have absolutely no problem with their Gmail content possibly showing up in search results, they can opt in at g.co/searchtrial, though we recommend staying far, far away.

Google Adds Personal Gmail Results Into Search

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  1. Velifer says:

    The post office might start selling more stamps if this becomes the norm.

  2. AtlantaCPA says:

    I use and enjoy the search function in Gmail, because it just searches my emails. If I do a web search, I am specifically looking for info from the web, not my emails. This is exactly what those Bing commercials make fun of Google for (though I think they overstate the problem) – getting unwanted results when you search the web for something.

  3. Thorzdad says:

    What is it about the unholy alliance between geeks and the marketing department that makes neither capable of understanding why you shouldn’t do some things?

    • McRib wants to know if you've been saved by the Holy Clown says:

      Because code is awesome, and we coders just want to make our giant code monster that we will love and nurture and call George?

  4. McNuggz says:

    If you leave your browser logged into google, then anyone else who uses the computer has access to your gmail account anyway. Im sure it’s something you could turn off. I might actually find it useful.

    • Hi_Hello says:

      that is what I”m thinking…

      I’ve been to a lot of people computers..go to gmail.com and their email are there…

    • Arphahat says:

      This is such a non-issue that I don’t even understand why it is posted here. So, a computer that has you logged into Google will now display your emails in your search… how is this an issue? If there is some privacy concern, this doesn’t really make much difference, since the same results would be available to someone on your logged in computer by going to gmail and searching that.

      • Telekinesis123 says:

        Doing a google search is the equivalent of spending time in someone living room even though you’re in their house, it’s very common to borrow a PC for a second when someones over. People going into someone gmail or email account is the equivalent of going in their bedroom and digging through their underwear drawer – it doesn’t happen nearly as often and is considered an aggressive act and people have an expectation of privacy that friends don’t go to private addressees. Yes it can still happen but thwe point is this makes it a lot easier, and a lot easier to make mistakes because everything is so public now. Putting it in a public place like that is like having your underwear drawer strewn all over the living room for everyone to see even if they are only peeking in when you’re just answering the door.

        The other issue you fail to see is that google wants access to ALL your email accounts even from businesses they do not own.

        It’s a non issue to you becuase you don’t understand it.

    • Chmeeee says:

      They have access, but if they’re a trusted family member, they’re probably not snooping. I have email confirmations in my GMail for purchases I’ve made as gifts for my girlfriend. I know she’s not going to open up my email and start reading stuff, but if it pops up when she’s just running a search in Google, it could spoil a surprise.

  5. umbriago says:

    C’mon Googs, if I want to search my email, I’ll search my email!

    I know you want to but don’t try to do my thinking for me.

    • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

      What we need is a search engine that does searches for what we specify, not what they THINK we are searching for, not what they can sell ads for, etc. Search engines have a history of quickly becoming popular and quickly becoming abandoned. Google will learn this one day.

    • golddog says:

      Exactly.

  6. az123 says:

    While I do think this is a really stupid feature that should not be there… I would assume you need to be logged in for it to search your email, which means that person who you let use your computer will just have to go to gmail to read through your emails anyway. This may point it out a bit easier but I would say most people who would have issues with this are idiots to start with

  7. IGetsAnOpinion says:

    From the original article: Google SVP Amit Singhal said that this personal email search feature wouldn’t necessarily be limited to Gmail. “We are very willing to work with every email provider,”

    Oh hells no. We better be able to opt out of this. I certainly do not want to be searching for something with someone looking over my shoulder and it brings up snippets of my yahoo mail. No no no!

    • DaveInBillsburg says:

      Well you can sort of do that now, I can have all my e-mail account integrated into my gmail account. I have my personal e-mail from @***.net directed to my .gmail.com account. I could do the same with a Yahoo account and when I search it will find all e-mails.

  8. Charles Edward Winthrop III, Esquire, Investigator of the Unknown Music says:

    Here’s an idea. Go into your settings, and check “Do not use personal results” instead of whinking about how “evil” they are.

  9. Golfer Bob says:

    Would this be prevented by each user of a shared home computer having their own identity / log in?

  10. DaveInBillsburg says:

    Remember Google is not evil!

    Seriously, Google said it right there in the quote, baby steps. Get people used to this feature and then expand it into other areas, like the search results bring up stuff on your hard drive, docs, pictures, music, ect. Figure it will only be a matter of time for Google to index the content of your hard drive and presents it to users in their web search. If they do a bit at a time until people get used to it, once it is implemented most people will use it because they will be used to it and it will be integrated into their lives.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      No way. No one uses my computer but me, and if anyone did, they better not be able to see everything. This better be opt-in all the way.

    • MarkFL says:

      “once it is implemented most people will use it because they will be used to it and it will be integrated into their lives.”

      We are the Google. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.

  11. crispyduck13 says:

    If you have to opt-in then why would Google get sued again? If they snuck it in there like Facebook likes to do that would be a different story.

  12. Murph1908 says:

    Seriously? How fucked up is this?

    I know I let my friends look stuff up on my computer when they are over to visit, or on my laptop when we’re out. I don’t want them getting snippets from my email!

    • crispyduck13 says:

      Even on my home computer I don’t leave Facebook or Google automatically signed in. Habit from computer lab days in college I guess.

  13. Murph1908 says:

    On this note, anyone have a reccommendation for a free email? I want to drop Yahoo for my commerce email due to their recent changes. Don’t want to change to Google. Don’t want to use a secondary address on my ISP account in case I change in the future.

    Hotmail? [ducks]

  14. Telekinesis123 says:

    “Google hopes to expand the feature to all e-mail providers”

    They want people to give google the right to sniff through and access all peoples email accounts and all for the sake of ads? This is so bad it enters the realm of raunchy. If you want to search your gmail, you go into gmail and search your gmail. You do not need to search your old mail on every email provider every time you make a websearch.

    Very few will want to do this by opting in so once again they will probably have to try something fishy if not downright illegal like they did with Wave to automatically opt people in.

  15. failfailfail says:

    Presumably this would only work if you’re logged in to your Google account, in which case gaining access to your e-mail is as simple as clicking the Gmail link in the black header bar.

  16. axolotl says:

    >www.google.com
    >what is my bank account number and balance?

    DAMMIT WHY WON’T IT TELL ME?? I’m logged into my bank’s website! Google, please invent this so I don’t ever have to leave your site!

  17. Walker66 says:

    Well this isn’t good. Let’s hope no one in the family is secretly gay. They will be outed and might kill themselves. Let’s see how Google likes that lawsuit.

  18. Die Schwarze Ewigkeit says:

    Why not just log out of your Google account when you aren’t using it?

  19. luxosaucer13 says:

    Facebook would be a more than willing partner in this endeavour…….if the price is right.

  20. Proselytic says:

    Haha! Really?! Okay, so here’s a leap… Consumerist was just hacked… Imagine your emails contain information about where you blog, bank and imbibe, and now imagine the exploits awaiting your gmail account(s), calendar(s), etc. Then imagine if you, or others you know have email accounts included in those searches…. Yes, not only can they exploit you, but everyone you know, including their emails and with tons of private information. The combinations of information exposed Google is providing for world class hacks is infinite. Monumentally a dumb idea, which Google of course excels at.

    • wombats lives in [redacted] says:

      and then imagine a pink fairy comes down and seduces you on this journey… but wait! you were just too high and all of the stuff imagined wear produced out of fear from lack of understanding.

      • wombats lives in [redacted] says:

        curse the lack of edit and not double checking my post prior to submission: wear = were*

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