Email Hacking

Author: Kathryn Kynes
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If you could hack into someone's email account, who would you choose?

In today's technological age we communicate in a variety of different ways, from email, text messages to instant messages. The growth of cloud computing, social media and our constant connection via portable devices means that we can connect with whoever we want whenever we want.

Even though we know its wrong, the temptation to access someone else’s private conversations is intense. If you had the chance to hack into anyone's email account without fear of repercussion, who would you choose?

In order to find out the answer to this question, Metacompliance asked 1,000 people the very same question using Google Consumer Surveys. Men and women of all ages provided some very revealing answers.

The Top 10 responses are as follows:

  1. I wouldn’t! 23.5%
  2. Barack Obama 6.9%
  3. David Cameron 4.9%
  4. God 1.7%
  5. The Queen 1.7%
  6. My boss 1.3%
  7. My wife 1.1%
  8. Vladimir Putin 1.0%
  9. Tony Blair 1.0%
  10. Bill Gates 0.9%

The most surprising result from this survey is the fact that almost a quarter of you wouldn’t hack someone else’s email account if you were presented with the opportunity.

This may be due to a number of reasons. Either people respect the boundaries and privacy of others, or it could just be that there isn’t anyone they consider worth hacking. It would take another survey to know for sure.

It could tie into the recent debates over the need to update the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. The 1986 ECPA law enables the government to access your emails, messages and documents that are stored online without a warrant. The Electronic Frontier Foundation is currently campaigning to bring about these reforms.

These concerns didn’t stop the remaining 75% of respondents in providing us with the people they would most like to hack. The remaining answers are a mix of conspiracy and paranoia.

The top answers included the world leaders Barack Obama and David Cameron. Politicians are infamously hard to trust, and even through Obama initially won our trust in his 2008 ‘Change’ campaign, but his inability to see through on his promises (such as the closure of Guantanamo Bay) has resulted in the loss of some of his supporters.

The ability to see what Obama really thinks, as well as his actions relating to these promises, would either restore faith or crush the idyllic vision that many hold of him. This may be a similar reasoning behind the answer God. If God did have an email account, he would need one hell of an inbox.

We also received some answers that are a little closer to home. For the paranoid, jealous and inquisitive out there, answers included your boss, spouses, friends, parents, siblings and of course our significant others.

The truth is, a person's emails are not normally that interesting, but until you know for sure, you can convince yourself that it is the most important and insightful piece of information you will ever have access to.

But if this doesn’t quell your desire to uncover the truth, take a look at the raw data and view responses by gender, age, income and location.

Download Results: PDF | XLS (Right-click for Save Options)

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Tags: accessbill-gatesbossconfessiondavid-camerondebatesemailfaithfriendsGodgovernmenthackinginformaitoninsightjealousobamaparanoidparentspoliticanspromisesqueenrestoresignificant-othersspousestony-blairtrustvladimir-putinwife


  1. I would probably make up the 23.5% of people that wouldn't hack into someone's email account, but it's important to be aware of all those that would benefit from hacking into your email from marketers, white collar criminals, employees, predators, stalkers, friends and family (especially in infidelity cases, and the government. Take the necessary steps to protect your account from being hacked.

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Leave A Reply

  • Though we know its wrong, the temptation to access someone else’s private conversations is intense. If you had the chance to hack into anyone's email account without fear of repercussion, who would you choose?
  • The Top 10 responses are as follows:

    • I wouldn’t! 23.5%
    • Barack Obama 6.9%
    • David Cameron 4.9%
    • God 1.7%
    • The Queen 1.7%
    • My boss 1.3%
    • My wife 1.1%
    • Vladimir Putin 1.0%
    • Tony Blair 1.0%
    • Bill Gates 0.9%
  • The truth is, a person's emails are not normally that interesting, but until you know for sure, you can convince yourself that it is the most important and insightful piece of information you will ever have access to.