"You're simply incorrect. Google does NOT "read" anything you write. Every piece of tracking/intelligence programming they do is based on "anonymous" data, just like Bing, Yahoo and every other search engine, for the purposes of "behavioral targeting".
It is probably true that google employed humans don't read any of it (in theory, but can you post proof? I can't). I choose not to use !GooMyFaceYouMSNTwit for the simple reason that I don't trust human nature when it comes to data mining.
"You can send Gmails all day and all night with your full identifying information and never see any of that end up in Google's possession. They simply do not view your data, period. It's completely irrelevant to them."
But they have it stored on their systems. And they can connect it to my IP address (that's "Internet Protocol address", if you are technically illiterate, look it up) ... and thus connect it to anything else I do in google-space. Do you really not understand this concept?
"You guys are completely forgetting that Google is not interested in who you are as an individual, because individual data doesn't matter. They are interested in TRENDS and analysing which of their services are performing well for those who are registered to use them."
But they are collecting as much info as possible on user use of the Internet, in a massive database. Right? And all those little pieces of data have the user's IP address attached, right? Starting to see a problem yet?
"It is not only flat out illegal to maintain any retrievable personally-identifiable information (just like it is for Bing, Yahoo and every other search engine, not to mention every "social media" provider and many, many others), it would also be a terrible business move."
Oh. I see. So my email in the "mail you have read" and "mail you have sent" that I can access from anywhere with TCP/IP access, somewhere out there in "the cloud" that is gmail, is NOT actually stored on google owned hardware? What color is the sky on your planet?
And while I'm thinking about it, please cite chapter and verse of the so-called "law" that you claim makes !GooMyFaceYouMSNTwit's core business model illegal. In other words, post proof or retract.
"So try not to be terrorized by your fantasies, people. Google is NOT out to get you, no matter what the shrill whining you read in these pages is telling you."
Who is terrorized? Who said google was out to get anyone? All we are doing is pointing out that google (and the like) are in the position of collecting unprecedented quantities of cross referenced, personal, private data on a massive population of people, world-wide. And they are doing exactly that. That is dangerous; too much power in the hands of a private corporation can't be good in the long run.
I know Patrick Volkerding. You're no Patrick Volkerding.