Remember how mildly annoying it is to see a line or two of ads above your gmail account whenever you open it? And just why is it showing tickets to that concert or badly made sweatshirt links? Its because the company scanned your emails for potential products they could throw your way. But now it looks like Google is playing nice by promising to stop scanning your emails on Gmail.
In case you’re wondering, Google REALLY IS scanning your mail to look for potential stuff they can reference when putting “personalized ads”. Meaning whatever’s the most common theme on your Gmail, that’s what they’ll feed on your “adspace”. Google’s actually been doing this since 2004 when they launched the free email service.
Recently though, Google has vowed to stop being a major creep with the email “reading” and being a HUGE privacy concern.
A screenshot of Gmail in its current form
Here’s what Google Cloud senior VP Diane Greene had to say about the matter.
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.
Privacy activists have been calling foul on the “eavesdropping” that happens whenever Google scans emails for opportunities to push a product or service. Search Engine Land’s Danny Sullivan has called the move a “big change” for Google which he believes was a MAJOR hit against the services since it began. He did however end his two-cents on the matter with a post on Twitter saying:
On the other hand, does it reassure consumers to know that Google has better info now about how to target them than by reading their emails?
But wait, the joke’s on all of us as Google has stated that they will be getting data from other sources to continuing putting more ads on your Gmail. This could include your previous search queries and other Google-based activities.