Google To Stop Reading Emails For Gmail Ads

Alicia Guzman
June 28, 2017

The chief of Google's cloud division Diane Greene told Financial Times that even though this practice doesn't apply to corporate accounts, it has still made it hard for the company to find and retain corporate clients for its cloud services business.

Google will stop scanning the contents of consumer Gmail accounts for ad targeting purposes later this year, as it already has for G Suite enterprise users, the company announced on Friday. Users can opt out of seeing personalized ad by simply accessing their account settings.

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

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Greene's ability to limit ads, Google's lifeblood, shows her growing clout at the company.

Google will continue to display ads in the consumer version of Gmail, though they will be less targeted once this change rolls out.

Over the years, the backlash to email scanning for ads has led Google's rivals to distance themselves from the capability.

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One can go Personal Info and Privacy tab in the Gmail setting and search of Ad Settings tab. Google says that the cessation of scanning emails is in part to assure business customers of the confidentiality of their communications. Topics will also be added as you use some Google services (ex: when you watch a video on YouTube).

Email scanning for ads has always been controversial- a system that many civil rights campaigners have criticised as an invasion of privacy. However, in a welcome move, Google will finally put an end to the controversial exercise of scanning user emails for targeted ad campaigning. Also, G-Suite caters for more than 3 million paying customers of which some of them are large enterprises. "G Suite will continue to be ad free". Companies have been wary of Google's email scanning practice in the past, even though it was limited to the free consumer service and not G Suite, and preferred others. While the consumer version of Gmail has had messages scanned to target ads, the business version has never been scanned.

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