Google Won’t Scan Emails for Targeted Advertisements in Future

Google will stop scanning content of emails in future for serving advertisements to users based on content of their emails. Google has been criticized for this controversial advertising technique by privacy advocates. However, for free email service offering nearly 15 GB of space, most users were not much concerned about advertisements offered by Google in their mailbox, based on content of emails. The current decision of stopping to scan emails by Google comes from Google Cloud team and not Google advertising segment. Currently, over 1.2 billion people user Gmail’s free email service.

Google offers G Suite which includes office software, email and other tools for paying users. Google aims to address concerns of corporate users regarding privacy of email content. Google was scanning email content of only free Gmail users but whenever emails are shared between free and corporate users, the content can still be scanned. This was a major concern for some of G Suite’s corporate users. Google Suite competes with Microsoft and Amazon in cloud-based services segment.

Diane Greene, Google’s senior vice president of Google Cloud said, “Paying Gmail users never received the email-scanning ads like the free version of the program, but some business customers were confused by the distinction and its privacy implications. What we’re going to do is make it unambiguous.”

Ms. Greene announced Google’s move in a blog post on Friday. Greene informed that currently, over three million companies user G Suite services and the company has managed to double its user base over the past one year. Google has been investing billions of dollars in its Cloud segment and Amazon is offering tough competition in this fast-growing market. Google has not shared sales of its cloud division during its last quarter results. However, under the head ‘Other Revenues’ the company has reported 49 percent increase to $3.09 billion.

The changes will take place later this year. Greene informed, “Consumer Gmail content will not be used or scanned for any ads personalization after this change. This decision brings Gmail ads in line with how we personalize ads for other Google products. Ads shown are based on users’ settings. Users can change those settings at any time, including disabling ads personalization.”

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