Boston.com / Business / Technology / Where are you now? "''It was originally designed for me, basically," said Brin, who wanted a more convenient way to deal with the roughly five gigabytes of e-mail in his own inbox.
But the idea has infuriated Internet privacy groups like London-based Privacy International, which has filed complaints with the European Union and 16 European nations in an effort to force major changes in the service. Gmail's critics say that in its present form, Gmail will lead to a vast concentration of personal information onto a single Internet service.
Brin said he was caught by surprise by the flood of criticism. ''In retrospect, obviously I shouldn't have been," he said.
Indeed, the outcry over Gmail has alerted many Internet users to a truth that should have been obvious all along: Little by little, people are moving more and more of their lives onto the network. Data that people once kept on paper or on their desktop hard drives are now housed thousands of miles away on remote servers."