I am becoming less and less ok with Google and Facebook collecting data on me based on my online activities and then selling that to companies. Is there a good email service out there that respects privacy and doesn't mine data about you?

closed as not constructive by Scott Pack, Iszi, Rory Alsop Jul 17 '12 at 13:08

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    Are you looking for free one, or a secure service you may need to pay for – technology_is_overrated Mar 10 '12 at 7:07
  • Remember that services you don't pay for still cost money to run. The reason these services don't cost you any money is because your (plural) browsing data is valuable - demographic data is exactly what marketing companies are interested in, and will pay for! So if you want a service that you aren't paying for in data, you'll probably need to pay for it in cash. – Gareth Mar 12 '12 at 18:46
  • The only real solution is to host your own email server. – Ramhound Jun 18 '12 at 13:40
  • This one is a bit time-localised (the names mentioned may not be the ones you'd want to recommend in a year's time) and it is a shopping question, which we try to avoid. – Rory Alsop Jul 17 '12 at 13:09
  • Install an email client (e.g. Thunderbird), install Enigmail add-on, try convincing your friends to do the same, and encrypt your email traffic both ways. Encryption works if both sender and receiver are doing it. Note that you won't be able to read your email messages on a device that does not have your private key to decrypt what has been sent to you in encrypted form. You should read more about what the trade-offs are. Good luck. – code_dredd Sep 15 '16 at 9:04

If you are worried about your email provider intercepting your messages then you should consider running your own SMTP server. However, any message transmitted in plain text can be intercepted by an adversary. So even if you run your own server, this doesn't guarantee secrecy.

...So Perhaps asymmetric cryptography can help, I like Enigmail.

  • I am less concerned about the interception of my emails and more annoyed by how my activity on other sites is used to collect information about me in order to sell me adds. I don't want that. – MaxF Mar 10 '12 at 15:44
  • Every website, google, facebook, yahoo, twitter, etc. have cookies, and those cookies (normally) are what are keeping those ads following you – cutrightjm Mar 11 '12 at 3:47
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    +1 for Enigmail. However, it should also be made clear that cryptography is no good if it's not supported by both endpoints. Getting your grandma or sister to adopt it would be hard enough, never mind the numerous businesses with whom you regularly interact. – Iszi Jul 17 '12 at 12:52

Who can give you the assurance for data mining. Every email service provider especially at free of cost has been a data miner. I may be wrong but owning a website with email options is only way to keep your privacy.

There are service providers who provide services for email.


Fastmail gets excellent reviews. They write about the steps they've taken to protect your security, and their privacy policy looks respectable. It likes their privacy policy promises that, if you pay for the service, they won't data-mine your email -- but you could always contact them to confirm, if you like.

(I have no association with Fastmail.)

  • I'll second the FastMail recommendation. Good web interface and decent iPad app. (I've no association with them other than as a contented user) – SAL Sep 13 '16 at 22:56

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