Google will stop scanning your emails for ad targeting

Camille Francis
June 28, 2017

Diane Greene, SVP for Google Cloud, explained that the decision to make the change was tied to the increasing popularity of the company's business and enterprise-focused services.

While Google has stated it won't be scanning personal Gmail accounts for providing ads, the process will still be in practice for other purposes. The initiative comes from Google's cloud unit, not its ad team, per Bloomberg, as the company tries to allay concerns of more privacy-minded enterprise customers of its G Suite software package.

"No other email service protects its users from spam, hacking, and phishing as successfully as Gmail", she adds.

G Suite is composed of various services from Google including Google Drive, Google Spreadsheets, Google Docs and Gmail.

Gmail will still feature ads for users of the free, consumer version.

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However, the above move could still be the subject of a lot of controversy as Google isn't stopping scanning the emails altogether.

Last December, Google agreed to a series of changes in the way it collects data from Gmail as part of a proposed settlement.

The email scanning practice had been considered controversial because it was intrusive and infringes on privacy.

"Like the saying goes, if you're not paying for the product, you are the product". G Suite's Gmail is already not used as input for ads personalization, and would continue to be ad free in future too. The decision was made by Google's cloud unit after some business users were concerned that Gmail may be scanning their sensitive emails. It said it would stop scanning email at a time later this year. "G Suite will continue to be ad free". But Google will sell these targeted ads to marketers and brands based on the data and personal information gathered from its other sources such as search and YouTube.

Tech giant Google Inc will no longer scan the contents of your emails to serve up personalised adverts. The ads Gmail residential users will see will be based on their settings.

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