I want no part of it.
Until a fortnight ago, I was one among the masses who railed at Google for its "deception", and castigated the company for increasing the degree to which it will snoop on its users.
But then a single article I read—and I can recall neither the title nor where I read it—brought me to my senses.
Simply put, the article pointed out that there was one way to tell Google that its policies were becoming extreme – stop using its services. Of course, the escapist argument is that one person quitting never makes a difference. But then if everyone argued that way, there would be no boycotts at all.
The first time I noticed the snooping was back in March 2010 when I was reading an email from the editor of iTWire, Stan Beer. I noticed the ads above the open email changing and watched fascinated as words from the email attracted related ads. It annoyed the hell out of me.
I was on the verge of moving my home server over to an Atom-based mini-ITX box at that time; when I did make the move about a month later, I consulted a friend, who is my UNIX guru, and, with his help, set up webmail on the new box.
SquirrelMail is not as polished a system as Gmail but it is more than adequate. The important thing was that my mail was now under my own control. Within a month, I stopped using Gmail for personal mail. My own server did the job adequately.