Scroogled No More: Google Will Stop Scanning Gmail for Ads

It is important to note that the blog post specifically highlights that this only applies to personal (consumer) Gmail accounts and not the Gmail accounts which can be used by businesses as part of Google's G Suite.

The new Gmail data scanning policies just bring the consumer version of Gmail more in line with the rest of Google's products and services. But if you use Gmail, there is a much higher chance that Google scanned the contents of your email, picking up on a keyword, and delivered a targeted ad based on what you wrote.

Google's practice of scanning Gmail messages has always been controversial, with the company defending multiple lawsuits and even facing wiretapping charges in the US.

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'Consumer Gmail content will not be used or scanned for any ads personalization after this change, ' Greene said. That's right. Google is going to stop Scroogling us. Users can change those settings at any time, including disabling ads personalization. The search engine made a decision to stop scanning the inboxes of Gmail free users for targeted advertisements later this year.

Privacy activists have long complained that the scanning of email contents amounts to unwarranted "eavesdropping" on users, as the practice has been in place since Gmail has launched.

Several years ago, Microsoft took a few stabs at exposing Google's behavior of scanning email to generate personalized ads, first with Gmail Man and then with the successful (and accurate) Scroogled ad campaign.

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The internet giant earlier this year reached a settlement in a class action lawsuit in the matter, but a federal judge rejected the deal as inadequate. Greene emphasized that the service is tremendously valuable for all people using the service because "no other e-mail service protects its users from spam, hacking, and phishing as successfully as Gmail".

But this doesn't mean you won't see targeted ads in Gmail. It also erases one of the arguments against giving users a way to easily and seamlessly encrypt their email-something Google and other free email providers have resisted because it would prohibit them from scanning messages for profit.

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