It's pretty clear that Google doesn't know your father or your family situation, so their little reminder is a lot different that Bob Barker actually showing up at your house. Also, I don't get this assumption that your GMail is your own personal space. There are ads on every single page, and Google has a long history of sending out blanketed messages (e.g. new Labs features).
> It's pretty clear that Google doesn't know your father
> or your family situation, so their little reminder is
> a lot different that Bob Barker actually showing up at
> your house.
Bob Barker showing up on your doorstep does not imply that he knows anything about you personally, other than that your dog isn't spayed. Google doesn't necessarily know anything about you personally, other than the fact that you have (or had) a dad.
> Also, I don't get this assumption that your GMail is your
> own personal space.
* Are you suggesting that it's a public space?
* You may not 'own' it, but that doesn't mean there isn't an expectation of it being a semi-private space. You are leasing the use of your Gmail page from Google at the price of the ads being there. What if your landlord went door-to-door in your apartment complex telling everyone, "Call your father!" When your landlord shows up at your door, you don't know that he's going around to everyone. How would you not see that as personal?
* "Call your father" is a command, which is a lot more personal than "Father's day is coming up, you might want to call your father for free using our service!"
> There are ads on every single page
Do you not own your (purchased or gifted) copy of (e.g.) a newspaper? There are ads on every page.
> Google has a long history of sending out blanketed messages
> (e.g. new Labs features).
Most normal people don't get this, or just ignore them thinking that they are spam. And in reality your email inbox designed for sending/receiving messages. Your task list isn't. Do you expect the ability of others to automatically add things to your own personal TODO list? Even sending calendar invites through email usually requires confirmation before accepting them.
You're being extremely inconsistent here. "Public space" is not the opposite of "personal space." I'm saying that your Gmail page is not personal, because Google has always placed advertisements and other messages on it. It is unreasonable to single out this Father's Day reminder and claim that you didn't expect mass messages to be placed on your Gmail.
Your newspaper analogy is the most inconsistent yet. Of course you own your copy of a newspaper, and of course there are ads. But a newspaper is not your "personal space," and in fact, I'm sure most newspapers had Father's Day ads.