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.