It’s obvious that the big IM providers are storing all our conversations, but as far as I’m aware, Google are the first ones to actually allow you access to their stored version of your previous conversations, which, despite being really impressive, is however yet another terrifying reminder of how much information these big service providers really have about you. Since the recent round of acquisitions, Yahoo! for example now knows about my photos, my bookmarks and my events, all of which are more than enough to draw up a very accurate picture of who I am and what I’m interested in.
It’s interesting to note that whilst the offerings from these companies are slowly becoming better and better I’m slowly offloading my reliance on them: my Gmail account is backed up to a remote server, and I could switch that entirely very easily; my bookmarks first go through a local scuttle install and then are backed up to del.icio.us for social purposes; my blog goes through Google but is hosted on my own server; my events are moving to an install of PHP iCalendar and being backed up to Upcoming, and so on. It’s not all in place, but I think it’s getting there.