Facebook Email: Privacy Concerns With the 'Gmail Killer'?

Jill Baughman

FacebookDo you need even more of an excuse to be on Facebook all day? Forget switching back and forth between Facebook and your Gmail account. Facebook will be rolling out a new email platform, featuring addresses that end with @facebook.com.

It's official: Facebook legitimately wants to take over the world.

This feature will be an actual email client, similar to Gmail and Hotmail, and not just an upgrade of the "Inbox" we already have (you can't send messages to people who aren't on Facebook, and it's kind of pathetic in general).

Facebook is supposed to introduce and start up the service on Monday. But the question remains: What about our privacy?

Not only does Facebook have access to your photos and personal information (though it says it doesn't do anything with it, yeah right), now they'll have access to your emails and all your personal correspondence. It seems nothing is safe on Facebook. Would you trust them with your emails too? If something were to happen and all of my emails and chats became public permanently on the Internet, I'd be jobless, friendless, and have to move to Tibet.

Also, will Facebook force you to get the @facebook email address simply because you're on Facebook? They may not in the early stages, but let's face it, they most likely will eventually. Letting people know about your change of address is annoying, not to mention that you might not even like the service to begin with. I've had Gmail for over five years now, and I like having all my emails archived in one place. The thought of starting a new account doesn't appeal to me in the slightest.

But still, many are predicting that users will switch based solely on the amount of time they're on Facebook and all the other social features it could offer for email. TechCrunch, which first came out with the report, heard about the super-secret "Project Titan" (seriously?) in February. Keep in mind that all of this is pure speculation, but TechCrunch explains why this feature could threaten other email platforms:

It can tweak the design of its webmail client to display content from each of these in a seamless fashion (and don’t forget messages from games, or payments via Facebook Credits). And there’s also the social element: Facebook knows who your friends are and how closely you’re connected to them; it can probably do a pretty good job figuring out which personal emails you want to read most and prioritize them accordingly.

This could explain why Google recently blocked users from importing contact info from Gmail to Facebook. Ah, gotta love passive-aggressive technology wars!

Stay tuned on Monday to see if this actually pans out.

Will you use Facebook email? How would you feel if Facebook forced you to?


Image via Facebook


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