It looks like Google is experimenting with the addition of GMail to a user’s Personalized Search results. At this point, you can sign up to join the field trial if you have a GMail e-mail account.
From the wording on the introduction page, it looks like users will soon be able to share their e-mail messages with others — perhaps even with people that they do not know. What? That is correct. The way that it reads, it appears that your GMail messages could potentially no longer be private.
Here is the page announcing the field trial.
It is unclear as to whether the info displayed is only related to messages currently stored in a Gmail account (I don’t know very many people who store messages in GMail), or from a history of deleted messages that Google has stored, or from others in a Google Plus Circle, or from the universe of all GMail users.
Other information says,
“Find relevant Gmail messages and shared links in your search results.”
“Search for contacts you’ve emailed with recently and see their messages.”
“Get updated information and statuses for your flights.”
At this point, there doesn’t appear to be any opt-in or opt-out for certain messages, nor is there an indication as to whether or not everyone’s GMail messages will be available for viewing. The new March 1, 2012 Google TOS (Terms Of Service) that all Google users were forced to opt into does state that they can do whatever they want with any information posted using Google tool. If I take that literally, that means that Google does have the right to do whatever they want with anything that passes through a GMail account.
Here is the important part: “When you upload or otherwise submit content to our Services, you give Google (and those we work with) a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works (such as those resulting from translations, adaptations or other changes we make so that your content works better with our Services), communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content. ”
It may be that you will be limited to viewing information that is already in your GMail account and nothing beyond that. On the flip side, Google can technically include anything that they want to as long as the source originates on a Google web property. It is hard to say whether this will evolve into something personal and useful, or become the largest breach of privacy in the history of the Internet. Keep an eye on this one.