Google has been issuing limited testing of its GMail web based email program to certain industry insiders and publishers. Such GMail testing has brought about interesting insights to what’s heralded to be a huge innovation in web based email, albeit shadowed with privacy controversy based on Google ads being targeted to private email text.
Last week, Google’s GMail was the target of legislation introduced by Californian State Senator Liz Figueroa, who has drafted a bill which would protect users from content spying and snooping email providers. To start off the privacy controversy on April 6, the World Privacy Forum and 27 other privacy and civil liberties organizations composed an open letter calling upon Google to suspend its Gmail service until the privacy issues are adequately addressed.
However, privacy questions do not seem to be stopping a new active marketplace for securing Google GMail accounts. Currently on eBay GMail account owners are auctioning off their GMail addresses for bids that are currently maxing out at $152. Again, Google is not auctioning off the accounts, GMail account holders are doing so. The selling point for such GMail accounts seems to be the ability to secure a “cool” GMail address before others have the chance to.
Here’s some ad copy from an eBay GMail account auction:
Get it now, long before the service is available to the general public. (Get your preferred account name today!)
Some Cool Features (which you are probably already aware of):
1 GB storage (1000 MB) means you never have to delete your messages.
Conversations – Email discussions are linked together in a thread, making it easy to keep track of the entire discussion.
Labels – Identify your discussions w/ 1 or more labels, rather than placing them in folders (ability to place your messages in multiple “folders”)
Filters – Automatically label and organize your incoming messages.
Search – Harness the power of google in your mailbox.
Utility – Cool autocompletion features, timesaving keyboard shortcuts, ability to “star” important conversations.
Cool Factor – Be the first on your block to sport a cool gmail account!
The seller actually is getting bids by listing the functions of any GMail account, while listing the “cool factor” of “Be the first on your block to sport a cool gmail account!” Either geniuses or pure simpletons, the amazing point is that people are actually paying top dollar for the ability to test Google GMail, even if Google is serving targeted ads which reflect the content of private email messages.