Facebook Mail Supposedly a “Gmail Killer” – But Is It a Privacy Killer?

Facebook Places. Facebook Deals. Now, Facebook Mail.

Sounds a lot like a bunch of copycats to me. Facebook Places was just a copycat of Foursquare, which is a social application that allows you to “check in” to places, with several optional levels of privacy, to reap the benefits of socializing with businesses on a repetitive basis. Facebook wants to do the same thing, while integrating every single piece of your identity, into Facebook Deals. (That’s not scary at all.)

Now, Facebook wants to manage your email. On Monday, Facebook will announce this new feature – and has officially acquired the fb.com domain to allow every user their own Facebook email address. I don’t know about most of you, but I have about 0 pieces of snail mail per month that are important. Every single piece of personal, relevant, important communication occurs via email – Gmail specifically. That means every bank statement, every angry customer service letter (the ones I don’t tweet) every group thread between friends about happy hours (which includes times, dates, and places about where I will or won’t be) phone numbers, addresses, sometimes passwords, sometimes love letters that I shouldn’t send at 2 a.m. – these are all exchanged via Gmail.

The last thing I want is a company known for breaching their customers’ privacy rights on a consistent basis managing my most private of communications.

So, no, Facebook, I will not be using your @fb.com email address. I don’t care how trendy it is, how easy it may be to import my current email settings, how much more “social” it will make my life. My bank statement is not meant to be “social.” I enjoy keeping my private communications, well, private.

Will you use Facebook Mail? Or do Facebook’s continual privacy concerns outweigh any benefit it may provide?

Article Written by

Kelly Clay, author of Blog Without Boundaries, is a freelance writer and lifestyle advisor.