Google will no longer mine your emails for advertising data

Gmail privacy

In December, Google tentatively agreed to hold off on scanning incoming mail until after the messages were available in a Gmail user's inbox, which it argued would help resolve concerns about Google violating state wiretapping laws.

G Suite will still scan emails for other features.

Those unwilling to wait can turn off personalized ads in Gmail by opting out on the Google Ads Settings page in their account settings. Google used to scan the emails of only those who used the free version of Gmail, not the paid-for service sold to companies, said Diane Greene, head of the company's cloud business.

Gmail messages will no longer be scanned for keywords to enable Google to provide personalized ads. Well, that's changing now - Google on Friday announced that it will stop scanning emails of its users for personalised advertisements. Could their emails be read when they used the free Gmail later in their day?

The company announced the change on its website.

She said the decision was made as business customers had been confused by the different privacy policies between G Suite and personal accounts. "What we're going to do is make it unambiguous", said V Greene.

Does Google now garner enough information from other data streams (social media, search, Android) that it can now abandon email scanning entirely? And it appears the internet giant's sudden change of heart may have been motivated by plans to better serve their most important clients.

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

However, in March 2017 a federal judge rejected Google's proposed class-action settlement as it provided no money for plaintiffs but £1.73million in lawyers' fees. Google's cloud computing group, headed by Greene, is angling to acquire more corporate customers in an attempt to catch up with Microsoft Office's package, which now hosts 80 % of the Fortune 500.

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