Gmail to stop reading your messages for targeted ads

Posted June 28, 2017

Google's Gmail service will stop the controversial practice of scanning through e-mail contents in order to deliver personalized ads, according to the firm. In a blog post, the Silicon Valley tech giant outlined how the move will bring the service closer to its ad-free enterprise offering, G Suite.

The ads shown are based on users' settings and users can change those settings at any time, including disabling ads personalisation. Google's business email service does not carry ads personalized in this way, and the company intends to bring the two services into line by the end of the year. The system is used to offset the cost of providing Gmail users with free cloud storage on Google Drive.

Greene was hired in November 2015 by Google to convince more businesses to rely on G Suite. Consumer users will continue to see ads displayed on their Gmail accounts. Instead of mining data from your Gmail inbox, Google will look at the YouTube videos you watch, the Google searches you request, the websites you visit and the apps you use. The new changes are expected to make customers feel more secure and satisfied knowing that their emails are not being scanned. This confusion prompted Google to adapt other personalization options such as giving them settings to choose from.

Privacy activists have long complained that the scanning of email contents amounts to unwarranted "eavesdropping" on users.

Firstly, you will have to go to myccount.google.com. Starting later this year, the company will stop reading your emails to refine its ads. G Suite users are not subject to email scans, and now this is being applied to Gmail customers. Google's automated systems routinely scanned Gmail users' incoming and outgoing emails to help refine the company's massive data-gathering operation, which in turn supported its enormous targeted advertising business. In fact, while it might not be viewing users as a prospective ad target, it will continue to scan user's mail to serve its other priorities.

Google has announced that its enterprise version of Gmail, found in G Suite, and consumer version of Gmail are going to more closely align.