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Google Spam

Gmail's 'Unsubscribe' Tool Comes Out of the Weeds 129

Posted by timothy
from the and-don't-come-back dept.
itwbennett writes "Starting this week, a new, clearly marked 'unsubscribe' link will appear at the top of the header field in marketers' emails. Previously only appearing for a small percentage of users, the feature will now be made available for most promotional messages with unsubscribe options, Google said on Thursday. Email recipients do not need to take action for the links to appear."
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Gmail's 'Unsubscribe' Tool Comes Out of the Weeds

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    damn great news now hope that the mailing lists owners actually do something with a unsub command.... I've been having bad luck on that part

    • Re:AWESOME (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 22, 2014 @01:39PM (#46311641)

      I've been having bad luck on that part

      Probably because by clicking that button you're proving that a human exists at the end of the email address. And because you were silly enough to click it, you're probably exploitable in other interesting ways, too.

      • by jmd (14060)

        Yep... not long ago i did this very thing. Now I get 20+ per day spam messages for an adult site.

        • by Tx (96709)

          It's not as bad as it used to be, I don't think. I recently went through the exercise of unsubscribing every spam mail that came in to the accounts of two former employees at the company I work for, and the spam level dropped almost to zero, around one spam mail per day rather than 30-50. Granted, the kind of spam you get on the work account of a reasonably sensible employee is probably going to be from more reputable sources on average than most personal accounts, but they weren't all reputable-looking. Fo

          • ...Granted, the kind of spam you get on the work account of a reasonably sensible employee is probably going to be from more reputable sources on average than most personal accounts, but they weren't all reputable-looking...

            There's no such thing as spam from a "reputable source". If it's spam, they're obviously not reputable.

            • To be fair, there is a grey area here. It's quite possible that at some point a past employee was genuinely interested in hearing more about progress at a potential supplier of interest, and chose to sign up for more information. Maybe the supplier never followed through with the specific product the ex-employee was interested in, maybe the in-house project that would have used it has since changed or been cancelled, or maybe there's just no-one else still at your business who cares even if the ex-employee

      • by Anonymous Coward

        They already have my email address. They're not going to remove it from their distribution list if I don't click on the unsubscribe button anyways since spammers don't bear the cost of sending emails. I'm not saying to click "unsubscribe" on every email you receive, but there are some distribution lists which will remove your email if you click on the link.

      • Re:AWESOME (Score:4, Informative)

        by icebike (68054) on Saturday February 22, 2014 @06:14PM (#46312975)

        I've been having bad luck on that part

        Probably because by clicking that button you're proving that a human exists at the end of the email address. And because you were silly enough to click it, you're probably exploitable in other interesting ways, too.

        Exactly so. Unsubscribe from one, and two or three others show up from different sources within a few days.

        Since I never subscribed to these in the first place, I'm never going to unsubscribe. I'm going to mark them spam.

        Sorry Google, but I'm not playing along. I'm going to stuff your spam filters (which work very well thank you) full of these UCE mailings whether or not they contain unsubscribe options. Punish every on of them and force them to stop adding people to mailing lists without a request to do so.

        This is simply wrong headed. I can't believe google doesn't understand how these guys work. Why would they want to enable this kind of practice to continue?

        On my company email, I've got very effective Spamassisin filters for these types of things, and I mercilessly categorize them as spam. I expect nothing less from gmail.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      damn great news now hope that the mailing lists owners actually do something with a unsub command.... I've been having bad luck on that part

      To be fair, they are just copying a feature Outlook.com has had for a long time. Shows that it is good to keep some competition to the Google. If now they only could copy outlook.com's alias feature -- eg. proper aliases that are not revealing your real email and can be easily discontinued with a bounce to sender as result.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        proper aliases that are not revealing your real email and can be easily discontinued with a bounce to sender as result.

        I haven’t studied SMTP for a long while, but I think what you’re describing isn’t possible with ordinary email over the ’net. That sounds like something restricted to an internal mail system since it requires a centralized database of mappings between aliases and email addresses.

        • Re:AWESOME (Score:4, Interesting)

          by nabsltd (1313397) on Saturday February 22, 2014 @03:35PM (#46312187)

          That sounds like something restricted to an internal mail system since it requires a centralized database of mappings between aliases and email addresses.

          Google seems to be pretty good at handling databases for other data...I think they could handle this.

          I do exactly this same thing with a database for my home mail server. Every site I deal with gets a different e-mail address, so I know who sells their lists. There have been one or two sites that have had the alias deleted because they didn't pay attention to whatever opt-out method they claimed would stop the e-mail.

          This technique also protects me from phishing, as an e-mail that isn't addressed to mybankalias@mydomain.com can't possibly be from my bank.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          proper aliases that are not revealing your real email and can be easily discontinued with a bounce to sender as result.

          I haven’t studied SMTP for a long while, but I think what you’re describing isn’t possible with ordinary email over the ’net. That sounds like something restricted to an internal mail system since it requires a centralized database of mappings between aliases and email addresses.

          No, Outlook.com has solved this the way it should be. They are using real standalone email addresses for aliases. It can be completely different than your main email, and by default it shows up in a separate folder in your inbox. If you kill the alias, it is for the rest of the world the same as killing a standalone email address, and mail to it will bounce.

        • by worf_mo (193770)

          Any decent MTA will be able to handle aliases [postfix.org], this is by no means limited to internal mail systems. When you write to some.address@example.org, the destination SMTP server will look that address up. If it does not exist the message will be bounced with an error, if it is an alias for real.address@example org it will be delivered to just that account.

    • by Papaspud (2562773)
      Just mark them as spam
    • damn great news now hope that the mailing lists owners actually do something with a unsub command.... I've been having bad luck on that part

      They've always have... they mark the addressed "confirmed live" and add it into their lists to sell onward.

      • by CauseBy (3029989)

        Yawn. I used to hear this trope in the 1990s. I've been unsubscribing from emails since the Clinton administration and I have a 0% rate of experiencing what you describe. Zero. When I unsubscribe, I have always been actually unsubscribed as expected. What you describe isn't technically impossible but it makes me suspect that you are subscribing to, and then trying to unsubscribe from, porno emails or penis enhancement or mail-order bride or penny stock emails. I've never crossed paths with those.

        The only pr

        • So you've never seen the problem, except the one time you've seen the problem, and I must have subscribed to it?

          Wow...

          • by CauseBy (3029989)

            Read all the way through the last sentence and you'll see that the number of times I've seen the problem is zero, not one.

            I'll expand it: the number of times I've ever heard of that problem actually happening -- not from some anonymous person on the internet, but from someone I know or talked to personally -- is zero. And again I don't dismiss that it could happen in the real universe, just that it is so incredibly rare that to dismiss this new feature because of it is meaningless.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 22, 2014 @01:44PM (#46311659)

    They should only put the unsubscribe link in for scrupulous vendors who will actually unsubscribe you and not sell your email address as "confirmed to be working".

    • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Saturday February 22, 2014 @04:13PM (#46312339)

      google does NOT work for us. there is zero reason to trust this.

      its the same way as the postal service in the US re: spam. I once asked the letter carrier if we could put a sign up on our mailboxes saying 'no junk mail or UCE please'. he said that this is how they make most of their money these days and that they are paying to have their 'junk' put in my inbox. you can see who works for whom; and its not the recipient!

      google also makes money on their search and have you noticed that when you search for something that has a tech nature and also a salesy nature, the sales stuff comes first and you have to trawl thru many pages to find the actual tech info?

      have you noticed that there are PAGES of fake sites that serve only ebay ads, trying to fool you into clicking on them? google does nothing (zero, nada, zilch) to stop this even though the Powerful Google could easily fix this if they wanted.

      unless I'm paying google, I'm not the customer and I have no expectation that they will respect me or my wishes.

      • Google sees the number of people using email dropping, and place at least some of the blame on unwanted (perhaps unsolicited, perhaps not) email cluttering their users' inboxes. People are replacing email with Facebook and Twitter though, both products that Google doesn't own and can't as easily mine for profit, so it's in Google's interest to help you only receive the mail you want to receive.

        I'm not doubting or denying your point that you and I aren't Google's customers, but at the same time I think what

        • by icebike (68054)

          Do you have any data to back this up?

          Lately, people have been dropping facebook in droves, and switching to smaller less public messaging services. Some even reverting to gmail.

          Google isn't seeing less email. They blew past hotmail in 2012 to be come the worlds largest email service [venturebeat.com]. 425 million ACTIVE users, and a couple hundred more occasional users.

          I pretty much believe Google's rational for doing this, even though I don't agree with it. People are marking too much legitimate email as spam simply beca

      • by swillden (191260)

        google does NOT work for us.

        That may be true financially, but it's not the way Google sees it. Seriously, the perspective within Google is that users are customers.

        its the same way as the postal service in the US re: spam. I once asked the letter carrier if we could put a sign up on our mailboxes saying 'no junk mail or UCE please'. he said that this is how they make most of their money these days and that they are paying to have their 'junk' put in my inbox. you can see who works for whom; and its not the recipient!

        Google doesn't make any money from e-mail spam. Exactly the opposite. Google (like any mail service provider) spends huge amounts of resources receiving, processing and discarding spam Google does make money on the ads in gmail, and those are most effective if you only get real mail, because then the ads can be targeted based on stuff you really care about.

        google also makes money on their search and have you noticed that when you search for something that has a tech nature and also a salesy nature, the sales stuff comes first and you have to trawl thru many pages to find the actual tech info?

        That would be bec

      • Sure, we're not the customers, but we are the product and google still has to worry about losing us. The spam filter is good enough for me on gmail, but with so many people on gmail, I'd wager spammers are focusing all their efforts on getting by it. If spam starts seeping in, it won't be too long before the users leave. Having another way to get users to identify which mail is spam could help google with the arms race and keeping us there, with our information, and keeping that ad price high.

        Is there
      • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

        If Google makes money from advertising then surely it is in their interest to block unwanted adverts from other people. By filtering spam they make their service more attractive and reduce the amount of distraction from their own ads.

        FWIW the "unsubscribe" button doesn't just send an unsubscribe request, it blocks further mails from the spammer and sends them directly to the spam bin.

      • by Reziac (43301) *

        Actually, there is a form you can find at the P.O. that turns the weekly junk mail on or off. Where I used to live, the weekly junk mail actually contained a lot of useful stuff (and what wasn't became kindling in the woodstove) and I wasn't getting any... so I asked the P.O., and that's how I learned about this.

        As to the junk websites and junk Google results... yeah, it's pretty obvious they pay Google more than we do. :/

      • by CauseBy (3029989)

        They work for the people who pay them. Duh. We could switch to a recipient-pays postal mail system if you prefer. I'd be happy to pay Google for email service, that would be quite nice actually.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 22, 2014 @01:54PM (#46311691)

    I hope the unsubscribe link points back to google, and that they keep track of what I have unsubscribed. If they see me unsubscribing the same spam several times, they can safely conclude that the spammer will not respect the unsubscribe, and can start filtering the stuff out. Even better, they now know this is a spammer, and can filter out everything he sends to any gmail address, or at least add a block the first time someone else clicks on the unsubscribe link.

    • by sbrown7792 (2027476) on Saturday February 22, 2014 @02:00PM (#46311705)
      They do. If you look here [google.com], Google states that:

      If a sender continues to send you email after you tried to unsubscribe from their messages, new messages from this sender will go directly to Spam.

      Google has their shit together when it comes to filtering spam

      • by weave (48069) on Saturday February 22, 2014 @02:08PM (#46311739) Journal
        Yeah, sure, Google will do that with future emails from that marketer. But what about when your email is sold to others or that same marketer just sends again using a different address? :(
        • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

          by real gumby (11516)

          Or what about when Google steps the “unsubscribe” feature to 2.0, in which the marketer can bid on being able to send 1, 2, 3, n more messages before the “unsubscribe” takes effect?

          Or v3.0 in which the sender can pay to have unsubscribe NOT appear or to have their mail “opt out” of any spam filtering?

          You know it’s coming...

          • Then they'll lose more customers to Facebook messaging instead of email, and they'll make less money.

            • by icebike (68054)

              Yeah, because nobody every got spam from using facebook messaging. (rolls eyes).

          • by swillden (191260)

            You know it’s coming...

            Actually, I'm quite certain it's not. Not without a dramatic change in Google's culture, which I don't see happening.

            • by real gumby (11516)

              You know it’s coming...

              Actually, I'm quite certain it's not. Not without a dramatic change in Google's culture, which I don't see happening.

              I used to think so too, then they reduced the highlighting of the ads that surround the search results (so that people are more likely to click on them), then started pushing people to G+...

              I do think they still try not to be evil, but as Upton Sinclair pointed out, when your salary depends on something you tend to start to decide it's OK .

              • by swillden (191260)

                I used to think so too, then they reduced the highlighting of the ads that surround the search results (so that people are more likely to click on them)

                They're still clearly marked, and studies show no change in the ability of users to distinguish them from the search results.

                then started pushing people to G+

                That has been handled poorly, I agree. G+ is the single Google account system, which makes a lot of sense, and it's also a social network. Unfortunately, they were introduced in the wrong order. If Google had consolidated the accounts first and then added a social network later people would have understood the goals better.

                In any case, neither of those things indicate any kind of a

        • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

          I've been using the unsubscribe feature for over a year and I have not seen any increase in spam. In fact the amount of spam in my spam folder seems to have gone down dramatically, which presumably is due to Google refusing to even accept it in the first place before it gets classified.

          Google's spam filtering is top notch. Spam is basically a solved problem for Gmail users, including false positives.

          • by CauseBy (3029989)

            I actually get a lot of false positives. I've learned to go look through my spam folder from time to time. ("A lot" being maybe one a week, or a few per month.) But I almost never ever get a false negative; I get maybe one real spam in my inbox per year, perhaps less.

      • If a sender continues to send you email after you tried to unsubscribe from their messages, new messages from this sender will go directly to Spam.

        But what if the sender is, e.g., MailChimp?
        Will this blacklist MailChimp?

        Many companies use a third party to send their newsletters.

        • by halltk1983 (855209) <halltk1983@yahoo.com> on Saturday February 22, 2014 @03:19PM (#46312113) Homepage Journal
          Presumably, if a company gets blacklisted, they will contact Google. Then Google will provide evidence that the unsubscribe requests were being ignored, in violation of federal law (CAN-SPAM Act). Then the company finds the customer that was ignoring it and removes them. And the internet gets a little cleaner.
          • And how do they find out if they are blacklisted?

            • by CBravo (35450)
              Because customers complain or because your monitoring alerted you.
            • by whoever57 (658626)

              And how do they find out if they are blacklisted?

              They sign up for some Gmail accounts and then add their own Gmail addresses to their list. That wasn't so difficult was it?

              • This actually doesn't work like that. At the same presentation they announced this new feature at they said that the spam filtering was very specific to individuals. Using seed addresses isn't very effective for determining delivery.

          • by CBravo (35450)
            Customers are stupid so we automated that for them: NO recipient who has pushed the FBL button will receive email. Ever. Again. From this specific customer, that is (unless your hobby is pushing the spam button).
            • But Google doesn't have an FBL (I.e. ARF based reporting) so that isn't possible.

              • by CBravo (35450)
                If you RTFS: Yes they do [google.com]. Secondly, the unsubscribe button is following the unsubscribe link in the List-Unsubscribe- header [google.com] so one can see that as a poor mans FBL.
                • Good, it's public now. I don't have to RTFS because I was there when they announced and described this and had a chance to ask questions about it. It is brand new as of last Thursday and it is not an ARF based FBL. It is a single daily report that will give ESPs an idea of how their emails are being handled by the Google classifier. It will not be useful as an unsubscribe mechanism as it will not include any recipient specific data. Only ESPs are eligible and even then it will be limited as they roll it out

          • Their postmaster team, historically, has been very difficult to contact for this kind of information. That appears to be changing given some further, as yet unannounced, changes they are making.

        • If a sender continues to send you email after you tried to unsubscribe from their messages, new messages from this sender will go directly to Spam.

          But what if the sender is, e.g., MailChimp? Will this blacklist MailChimp?

          Many companies use a third party to send their newsletters.

          So you mean, there will be give and take, ebb and flow ... kind of like now?

      • by icebike (68054)

        They do. If you look here [google.com], Google states that:

        If a sender continues to send you email after you tried to unsubscribe from their messages, new messages from this sender will go directly to Spam.

        True, but that is exactly what happens when you mark it as spam. So for the user, there is no difference.

        So all this does, is affirm to the sender that this is a real and in-use email address. And that is a valuable commodity. Many will simply take you off of their list, and sell your email to the next spammer on their list. This is why you end up getting more and more offers form different spammers after you successfully get off of someone's list.

        So unless google also keeps a list of known address-rese

        • by CauseBy (3029989)

          It's hard for me to believe that you use Gmail and still describe that experience. Do you actually use Gmail? Do you get a lot of spam in your inbox? Is that what you are saying? And when you unsubscribe from those spams, you get even more spam in your inbox?

          I just want to be clear about your story, because that is exactly the opposite of my experience. I'd be interested in figuring out why our experiences are so different -- but I suspect that you either don't use Gmail, or you don't base your claims on yo

          • by icebike (68054)

            Do I actually use Gmail?
            About 5 accounts. For over 10 years.

            Do I get spam in my inbox?
            A few. But only once from each source, because I mark them as spam, and then never hear from them again.

            If I unsubscribe from one spammer, do I hear from similar (but different) spammers?
            Absolutely. More often, they go direct to my spam box, because.....(wait for it....)

            THAT'S HOW WELL MARKING THEM SPAM WORKS.

            In short, its not broken, and doesn't need fixing.

            • by CauseBy (3029989)

              Hmmm, I don't agree. You are mis-training the spam filter by marking legit emails as spam. The rest of us who suffer false positives based on your shenanigans don't appreciate it, but that's the tragedy of the commons I guess -- freeloaders like you ruin it a little bit for the rest of us, and then you complain when we* try to fix the system that you are undermining.

              * (we, but not me specifically)

              • by icebike (68054)

                Actually, no. Simply not true.
                If you mark something as NOT spam in Google, its not spam for you and and you will get it even if others consider it spam.

                Besides, I don't mark legit emails as spam. Neither does anyone else. Its largely a fictitious problem.
                Simply because spam includes an un-subscribe link doesn't make it not spam.

                • by CauseBy (3029989)

                  I'm still trying to understand. You said this:

                  If I unsubscribe from one spammer, do I hear from similar (but different) spammers?

                  What spam are you talking about? You don't mean things like Viagra and penny stocks, because those already go into your spam folder. They also don't come with unsubscribe links, so nobody is trying to unsubscribe from those. So what spam are you talking about?

                  This feature is for 'spam' such as the Daily Deals email from the company where you bought some RAM, or the newsletter you

                  • by icebike (68054)

                    In my experience if you want something that google classified as spam to not be considered spam, just
                    mark it as not spam, and future emailing seem to follow it into your inbox. They seem to have some
                    form of an exception system for each user.

                    Worst case, you add the sender to your contacts, (although I only do that as a last resort).

                    It doesn't seem affect anyone else's rating or the community rating. (I sometimes get the same (spammy looking, but not actually spam) emails in more than one of my Google acco

      • Google has their shit together when it comes to filtering spam

        Hardly. Close to 90% of the newsletters, notification emails, etc... etc... that I subscribe to regularly end up in my spam folder, and I (for the hundredth time) have to tell Gmail that it isn't actually spam. Gmail is very good at filtering actual spam, but their false positive rate is extraordinarily high.

        • That's very true. Newsletters that I've read regularly for years, as soon as I delete two or three of them without opening the message first start getting sent to the spam folder.

          Somehow despite being fairly promiscuous with my gmail address I only get six or seven spams a day (often from/for Christian Mingle, which is hilarious for multiple reasons). Maybe I've just been extraordinarily but I have not personally experienced this 'unsubscribe from one list and get added to seventeen more' phenomenon.

          • Some of the other things that have ended up in my spam box (like emails from some special snowflakes on various mailing lists) lead me to believe that Google relies very heavily on "deleted unread" as part of it's spam filters.

            And yeah, the amount of spam I receive despite also being not too careful with my Gmail addy compared to what some people claim they're receiving is miniscule for me too.

        • by kasperd (592156)

          Close to 90% of the newsletters, notification emails, etc... etc... that I subscribe to regularly end up in my spam folder, and I (for the hundredth time) have to tell Gmail that it isn't actually spam.

          It's worse than that. Sometimes Gmail refuse to accept the mail in the first place, which means it will be impossible for the intended recipient to go to the spam folder and mark it as not spam. Also Gmail may refuse to accept legitimate emails even if the recipient has created a filter to never mark such mes

  • A lot of the mess I get in my inbox is related to companies not validating email addresses. I've got people doing business transactions with my address and doing things like registering a twitter account. So, in a sense, it's spam but not spam.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Krojack (575051)

      This is my biggest complaint. A few years back I had someone in Australia buy plain tickets online and used my email address. I got the info about the account and tickets, did a password reset request and got into the account and canceled the tickets. I sure hope they had a hard time when they showed up at the airport.

      Verification emails should be sent on all new account creations and when signing up for any mailing list. Clearly the latter won't happen because companies want the emails to go to someone

      • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Plain tickets? How gauche! If only it had been fancy tickets instead...

      • Re:Misdirected ham (Score:5, Insightful)

        by jopsen (885607) <jopsen@gmail.com> on Saturday February 22, 2014 @02:43PM (#46311925) Homepage

        This is my biggest complaint. A few years back I had someone in Australia buy plain tickets online and used my email address. I got the info about the account and tickets, did a password reset request and got into the account and canceled the tickets. I sure hope they had a hard time when they showed up at the airport.

        Wow, sure it's annoying when people accidentally uses the wrong email... I can understand that you complain about. Given that you had to commit a federal offence by illegally obtaining access to an account that wasn't yours.
        I mean becoming a criminal is worth complaining about, but you could just have contacted the airline, which is perfectly legal, and asked them to resolve the situation.

        Instead of going out of your way, to be an a**hole, and actually make yourself a criminal in the process.

        Verification emails should be sent on all new account creations and when signing up for any mailing list. Clearly the latter won't happen because companies want the emails to go to someone, they don't care who.

        Sure, but an error somewhere in the system, does not make you owner of the account. Seriously, why don't you think before you hit somebodys password reset. That's clearly illegal.

        I mean, wow, just wow, given how long time the US is willing to lock you up for violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, I'm surprised you decide to just go ahead... No wonder 1% of the US population is in prison :)

        • by jopsen (885607)
          Sorry, about the messed up quotation... It's early morning..
          • by swillden (191260)

            Sorry, about the messed up quotation... It's early morning..

            If only there were some way to preview posts...

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Sure, but an error somewhere in the system, does not make you owner of the account

          Which works both ways. If your email account is misused and the service provider doesn't provide a way to disassociate their nitwit user from your credentials, that's their problem. It's best to attempt to contact the site and get it corrected, or to try to find contact information in the profile to alert the idiot who doesn't know his or her own email address and help them fix it, but changing the password and clearing the account settings of any payment information is often the ONLY way to communicate t

        • I agree with your sentiments, but I also understand the parent poster's frustration.

          There's a guy living in West Virginia who shares my surname and the first initial of my first name. He keeps giving out my Gmail address to businesses as his own. I suspect he's either old or just stupid, rather than intentionally giving out a fake address, because some of the emails seem to be stuff he likely signed up for intentionally. But I keep getting his appointment reminders, his renewal notices, and other crap - and

        • Facebook! I was getting notice about posts to my wall for several weeks before I reset the PW (never signed up before then). Think Facebook spammed me enough to get me to actually sign-up except I didn't sign up other then to change the profile and reset the pw. Worked quite well as I have never gave em any information and I now block all facebook crap in my Hosts file with anything from facebook going right into the trash for my gmail account.

        • by CauseBy (3029989)

          Whoa. Whoa whoa whoa. Clearly illegal? I disagree with that. The owner of an account is the owner of the email account linked to it which is the entire premise of the password reset system. The person who signed up for that airline account specifically handed the ownership of the account over to the GP. I think GP did exactly the right thing both morally and practically: if the person is using your email address, what else might they be using? I've never been confronted with that situation but I would do ex

          • by jopsen (885607)

            Whoa. Whoa whoa whoa. Clearly illegal? I disagree with that. The owner of an account is the owner of the email account linked to it which is the entire premise of the password reset system.

            You might be right... But I wouldn't want to be the poor guy arguing that in court!

            It's also fairly reasonable to assume that the owner of an account is the person who created the account. And that the owner of a airplane tickets is the guy to bought them.

            Keep in mind, it could be that the buyer bought the ticket over the phone, and gave his email verbally, hence, the error wasn't his. Whilst you feel, well within your right to do whatever you want with stuff that ends in your email box.. I'm not sure p

  • We can dream, can't we?

  • by Gravis Zero (934156) on Saturday February 22, 2014 @02:39PM (#46311889)

    where are the people that bark google has too much power and are "intrinsically evil" because of it? where are the people crying that their privacy is being breached because it scans their email for context? where are the people claiming they have been "scroogled"? where are you naysayer of every change google makes to a (free) product? where is your vitriol toward google for perpetrating a clearly heinous act? then again, you could just mod me down for your bitter repute.

    have you considered that google actually tries to follow their "dont be evil" edict?

    • by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) on Saturday February 22, 2014 @02:46PM (#46311937) Homepage Journal

      Have you considered that people approve of Google when it does good things, and disapprove when it does bad things?

      • Have you considered that people approve of Google when it does good things, and disapprove when it does things they find inconvenient for them?

        ftfy

    • by arkhan_jg (618674)

      Clearly you're not thinking hard enough like a naysayer.

      Google are doing this because of their evil plan to block spam. You see, it will be popular with users sheeple, and they will flock to gmail's deceptively free service. And then the advertisers who used to send spam now have to go to google and pay for ads in gmail itself, instead of sending them and getting google to pay for the infrastructure.

      And of course, google knows all about what you get in email and don't block, so they can tailor the ads just

  • by StripedCow (776465) on Saturday February 22, 2014 @02:43PM (#46311921)

    I wish google implemented captchas for sending me email.

    How does that work?

    Well, if you, the unverified person, wished to send me an email, Google would send an email back containing a captcha.
    If you solve the captcha, you would enter my "first-line-of-defense whitelist", and the e-mail gets sent to me.
    Needless to say: otherwise, your e-mail would end up in /dev/null.

    • by real gumby (11516)

      I wish google implemented captchas for sending me email[] If you solve the captcha, you would enter my "first-line-of-defense whitelist"

      You can easily implement this kind of thing if by running your own server. Google is quite unlikely to implement complicated features that few people would actually use.

      OK, admittedly they implemented Google+ which is complicated and which O(0) people actually use, but I claim that’s the exception not the rule.

    • by CBravo (35450)
      Some people want to receive invoices, newsletters, package delivery notifications and other automated messages. So captcha would not really work nice.
  • All that Google did here is implement a fifteen year-old RFC. As Benny Hill would've said: "Biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiig ...deal."

    This is nothing earth-shattering. I coded an unsubscribe link in sqwebmail, for exactly the same thing, circa 7-8 years ago (too lazy to trawl a bunch of dusty CVS logs to get an exact date). Really, every time Google goes ahead and does something related to an obscure, unimportant RFC, it's front page news, these days.

  • Is it just another link to the unsubscribe link already in the email? In which case, I probably won't want to click it, for the usual reasons (instead clicking on Delete or, more likely, Spam).

    If Google is letting you unsubscribe from email lists/spam etc which don't have an unsubscribe option, by acknowledging your click of their unsubscribe button, and then treating further emails from that sender as having been unsubscribed from by simply dropping them (or sending back an unsubscribe request without the

  • Now how do I unsubscribe from Google's data mining?
  • Spam is:

    1. Unsolicited
    2. Commercial
    3. Bulk
    4. Off-topic

    It must be all four or it is not spam.

    Spam is not "any e-mail or message that I don't want to read." Such a definition renders one person introducing themselves to another person via e-mail "spam," which is absurd.

    Oh by the way. When did Google become the Internet police? Altering the contents of an e-mail is a violation of U.S.C. title 17 sections 101, 106, et al. So is altering the contents of a third party's website: something Google does regula

    • Bullshit. Spam is unsolicited bulk email. It has no requirement to be commercial -- claiming otherwise was just an old spammer excuse for why their particular shotblast "wasn't spam" -- and "off-topic" doesn't even make any goddamn sense.

      And buttoned up with a cartooney, no less...

      • by CauseBy (3029989)

        Agreed. GP is wrong. Spam is

        1. Unsolicited
        2. Bulk

        If it's on-topic, who cares? I'm a Java programmer but if Oracle sent me and a million other Java programmers an on-topic bulk unsolicited email, that would be spam -- obviously. Also, I live in Wisconsin but if Scott Walker sent a non-commercial (political) email to me and a million other residents, that would be spam -- obviously.

    • Maybe legally but for most ISPs these days: spam is that which that their customers do not want to receive. I've heard it directly from postmasters at the majors. It doesn't matter if they opted in, have a relationship or any of that. If the customer no longer wants to receive it, it's spam. That's the base operating premise at this point.

  • Outlook 2013 has a pretty neat feature that I think is part of what they call Mail Tips.

    It basically gives you little "apps" that parse the email for certain item and give you options based on the text. Unsubscribe links (gives options, but I haven't clicked), dates (sucks at being useful), action items (barely useful), and I think addresses (haven't tried).

    Maybe this feature forced google to go ahead and release it for Gmail. I hope the gmail implementation of dates and action items is better than
  • Note that "unsubscribe" is not "report spam". Google does have a way to report spam; they have a web form you're supposed to fill out, which requires you to enter a valid gmail address for the sender. Note that you can cause gmail to generate outgoing messages which do not contain any gmail addresses anywhere in their headers. These cannot be reported to Google at all.

    This is basically exactly what crappy spam-for-hire places have done, and exactly what legitimate mailers usually don't do. Google gets away

    • by radio4fan (304271)

      Google does have a way to report spam;

      Other than the bloody huge 'Report spam' button, the same size and right next to the 'delete' button, that is.

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