Google will no longer read your emails

Google announced in a blog post on Friday (June 23) that it will no longer scan emails in personal Gmail accounts to pull out data for targeted ads. Rather, Gmail ads will likely be determined by a user's search habits or other information that the company has from people using Google or Google-related products and services.

Google says it will stop scanning Gmail content for personalised ads from later this year, bringing the consumer e-mail service in line with its enterprise offering, G Suite.

However, Google has now said the email scanning will be dropped from personal accounts to "more closely align" its business and consumer products. "Ads shown are based on users' settings".

The company has announced it will no longer be creepy and scan consumers' Gmail email account content for its advertising purposes.

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Ads will continue to appear inside the free version of Gmail, as promoted messages. The system is used to offset the cost of providing Gmail users with free cloud storage on Google Drive. That would seem to indicate that the cloud unit considered email scanning, which has always been controversial, to be a significant barrier to its business. The practice has raised concerns among privacy watchdogs and creeped out some users. For example, Google collects data about you based on the YouTube videos you watch or the searches you make. Google stated in the blogpost that security and privacy would be the primary focus towards better service to Gmail users.

Google is also clearly meeting a demand for increased transparency and privacy, which businesses are starting to take more seriously. G Suite now has 3 million customers and has grown its user base 2x in the past year, Greene wrote in a blog post.

Google used email scanning in the past to find possible links to fraudulent websites in emails and to filter spam messages.

G Suite is composed of various services from Google including Google Drive, Google Spreadsheets, Google Docs and Gmail. Last year, 88 percent of all revenue at Alphabet, Google's parent company, came from Google advertising, according to its annual report.

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