Google to stop reading your Gmail to help sell ads

Credit Bloomberg News

Credit Bloomberg News

The value of Gmail is tremendous, both for G Suite users and for users of our free consumer Gmail service.

Data in G Suite's Gmail isn't scanned for ad personalization, and soon, we'll be able to say the same about every Gmail user around the world.

Google's practice of scanning Gmail messages has always been controversial, with the company defending multiple lawsuits and even facing wiretapping charges in the US.

In 2014, Google was accused of violating state and federal wiretap laws for scanning the Gmail inboxes of American students, which use its Apps for Education suite, to deliver targeted advertisements. The search engine made a decision to stop scanning the inboxes of Gmail free users for targeted advertisements later this year.

That being said, you will still see ads in Gmail, however, instead of them being targeted based on the email's contents, they will be targeted based on other data points Google has on you, including your Google search and YouTube history (as is the case with pretty much all Google ads).

Privacy activists have long complained that the scanning of email contents amounts to unwarranted "eavesdropping" on users, as the practice has been in place since Gmail has launched.

'Users can change those settings at any time, including disabling ads personalization'. Facebook and Apple have similar practices as well, so don't think you're getting away from it if you use the internet. You can bet that this latest move was created to convince even more businesses to hop on G Suite-even though the policy change is aimed at the consumer version of Gmail, it shows that Google is taking user privacy into consideration.

This will likely make a lot of free Gmail users very happy.

Danny Sullivan, founding editor of the online blog Search Engine Land, called the move a "big change" for Gmail, noting that the scanning of email contents 'has been the biggest hit against the services since it began'.

'Gmail add-ons will enable features like payments and invoicing directly within Gmail, further revolutionizing what can be accomplished in email'.

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