600GB = over 49 Million Emails!
12.8KB is the average of my last 10 emails. At least a few of them contain information that is not criminal (i.e. don't give me the "if you have nothing to hide" BS), but could hurt my company if in the hands of my competitors. There is not telling how many competitor emails or just interesting social trends they could glean from such a database.
600GB should equal 629145600KB
That could be as many as 49,152,000 E-mail messages. That's a hell of a lot of Private E-mails to browse, catalog and gather a whole bunch of interesting information from.
Now obviously the bulk of the data is not Email messages. All we know is what Google has stated so far. And so far they have stated that they illegally gathered personal information form private networks, that some of that information contains E-mails, and that there is an estimated 600GB of it.
Google is the size of company that can pay 10,000 people to travel around the world for 4 years collecting up to 49 MILLION E-mail messages from private networks around the world. I have no doubt this was a deliberate action.
And to the comments of about war driving and my neighbors being a bigger risk:
They do not have the tools, there are not hackers driving by home on a scheduled 3 month basis. My private neighbors also do not have a multi-national advertising company they seek to combine this data from me with. Nor are the building a profile on my shopping habits, or likes and dislikes.
BTW for disclosure sake I have never run WiFi in my home (it's lazy and easier to cable up all the rooms in your house if you choose to.) I do however have experience deploying wireless networks for users in the thousands, so I am not unfamiliar with the technology.
I have managed big projects with MANY large companies and never I have I EVER seen an operation of Google's size, mistakenly send THOUSANDS of workers into the field, performing specific daily routine tasks, and one of those routine tasks was an "accident". This technology was loaded onto the vehicles. (I have an issue with their IP mapping and SSID logging plans to begin with, let alone the wiretapping.) Teams of people have examined the Google cars daily tasks and operations not only for thorough review, but I guarantee to an such an extreme level that have made this criminal operation as efficient as they possibly could.
Listen I am not saying Google is a bunch of Satanic Nazi's hellbent on world destruction. But their behavior has not washed with their stated stances. I see them as a dishonest company that does not concern themselves with the public, nor their customers general well being.
Someone said it best already (don't know who) to paraphrase: Google's customer is the entire business world, and their product is the public at large.
Am I Paranoid?, no that would mean by definition that I am behaving unreasonably. I choose to protect myself from a company that I see as a threat to my privacy and freedoms in general, and that appears in general hypocritical in its behavior. Sounds rational to me. I just choose to present what I feel is a valid argument to those who may be ignorant to the inherent dangers such an attitude has for any organization.