A Note on Google


Let me mention two things as background. First, I occasionally do a web search of my own name to see what pops up. Second, I have a private website where I upload files to share with friends. The directory is not secured, so anyone who I send the link to can view all the files and download them, 1990s style.



The last time I searched for my name on Google, I noticed that it had found one such directory on my website where I had uploaded some videos. I was surprised because, as far as I know, there was only one place where Google could have found the link to those files: in private emails from my Gmail account.

I could be wrong about this, of course. One of my friends could have posted the link on a website somewhere, and the Google could have found it there. So, I did a web search for the link but it did not turn up any results. Still, the link could have come down since it was scraped by Google (but then where is the cache?)

This isn’t conclusive, and if I really wanted to know I could try and repeat this by creating a new directory and sending a link in email to myself and see if it eventually turns up in a Google search. Maybe I will…

In any case, I’m not upset about the files being found, and if I had wanted to protect them I could have. The point is that Google web scraper may be reading my email, which I thought was interesting.  Since my relationship with Google is voluntary, I can always stop using Gmail if I get worried about my privacy.

I wish I could say the same thing about the Post Office, Federal Reserve Notes, government roads, the FDA, government schools, the TSA, government police, government armies, taxes, etc.

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