Google to stop scanning email content for targeted adverts in Gmail

Diane Greene, Google's senior vice president of cloud, wrote the blog post announcing the big Gmail changes.

"This decision brings Gmail ads in line with how we personalise ads for other Google products", said Greene. There are no changes to G Suite which already has email scanning disabled and provides an ad-free inbox. While Google didn't say when it will stop the Gmail scanning, it did say that it will continue to display targeted ads.

Ads based on scanned email messages drew criticism and even lawsuits about breaches of privacy in Gmail's earlier years.

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From implementation, it will instead be displayed based on individual user settings, which the firm said can be altered at any time.

In 2014, Gmail updated its terms of service to inform users that their emails were analyzed by software in order to target ads. However, as a report in Bloomberg points, ads will still be a part of the consumer version of Gmail.

"By indicating possible email responses, Gmail features like Smart Reply making emailing easier, faster, and more efficient". The information gleaned from scanning those emails was used to personalize ads.

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In the blog post, Greene added: "Google's G Suite business is gaining enormous traction among enterprise users". It appears that perhaps it was the concerns of business users that finally made Google end the practice. She served on Google's board since 2012 until she took up her new position at the company, The Verge reported.

Note, however, that the change will not actually stop Google from showing ads on Gmail.

But that doesn't mean that your free Gmail service will no longer have ads. Google Cloud therefore decided to make the two more aligned as they look towards their bright future indicated by their growth.

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There have been several privacy activists who have complained regarding the scanning of email contents amounting to unwarranted eavesdropping on users.

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