Google ceases scanning Gmail messages for ad personalisation

29 June, 2017 | By Ruchika Sharma

Google, in its recent blog post, has announced that it will end its age-old practice of scanning the messages of individual Gmail users which was used for better advertising purposes. This strategy was followed by Google right from the days of inception of its mail service, wherein it used to selectively obtain relevant data of email messages and use them to deliver targeted ads for the individual within Gmail itself.

The accounts of those who had subscribed to the GSuite services were not used as input for ads personalization before as well and the free Gmail service is going to follow suit later this year. This move to cease scanning emails in Gmail doesn't mean that users won’t see ads anymore. Google still has the power to parse search histories, the browsing history on YouTube and the activities of users on Google Chrome as long as you are signed into you Google account. Google also plans on showing ads to the users based on their activity on other Google sites and also on their partner sites.

Users can easily opt out from the service by disabling ad personalisationin their settings if they wish to, and the practice is reserved for the individual Gmail users only; not for corporate accounts. Corporates however have expressed their skepticism over the practice as the clients have mostly opted to stay out for Google’s cloud services business, according to Diane Greene, head of Google’s cloud division, in her interaction with Financial Times. Most of the corporate clients are apprehensive of the business tactics of Google and also their ability to trust the company with sensitive data.

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