Re: Not once have I been harmed by them having access to my data
I agree completely with Mr. Summers, here.
I, too, have used Google and gmail almost from the outset and never experienced any troubles.
Adverts don't bother me - they are easy to ignore, and I do.
Political influence? Don't make me laugh. My political views are completely private and unaffected anyone else's - I'll vote the way I want to vote, not the way you want me to. Your own views are of no interest to me at all - save for their comedic value.
Along the same lines, I've never had any of my computers hacked or subject to a virus attack. (I once deliberately downloaded the EICAR test virus, just to see how the AV reacted to something 'bad'). Simple common-sense ensures my AV database is bang up-to-date, and a single look at an e-mail subject is enough for me to decide whether to open it or immediately consign it to the rubbish bin - which is then quickly 'emptied'.