Report: Google to Stop Scanning Emails for Ad Personalization

Google's Gmail service will no longer scan the contents of user emails, relying instead on other data for personalized ads

Google will stop scanning its users’ emails to personalize advertisements, according to a report. The company does not necessarily plan to stop scanning altogether.

“If you use one of Google’s many services then you’ve probably come to the realization that the tech company has a lot of your personal information and data, which it uses to sell ads,” reported Consumerist on Friday. “Now, after years of debate on whether or not it’s okay for Google to read users’ private emails, the tech giant says it will stop scanning Gmail messages, but only for the purpose of personalizing ads.”

The company announced the change in an official blog post:

Google’s G Suite business is gaining enormous traction among enterprise users. G Suite usage has more than doubled in the past year among large business customers. Today, there are more than 3 million paying companies that use G Suite.

G Suite’s Gmail is already not used as input for ads personalization, and Google has decided to follow suit later this year in our free consumer Gmail service. 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. G Suite will continue to be ad free.

The value of Gmail is tremendous, both for G Suite users and for users of our free consumer Gmail service. Gmail is the world’s preeminent email provider with more than 1.2 billion users. No other email service protects its users from spam, hacking, and phishing as successfully as Gmail. By indicating possible email responses, Gmail features like Smart Reply make emailing easier, faster and more efficient. Gmail add-ons will enable features like payments and invoicing directly within Gmail, further revolutionizing what can be accomplished in email.

G Suite customers and free consumer Gmail users can remain confident that Google will keep privacy and security paramount as we continue to innovate.

“But just because Google won’t be scanning your emails to target ads, doesn’t mean it will stop scanning them altogether, as the company’s smart reply feature relies on such data,” Consumerist warned, before listing a variety of instances where Google had been under fire for scanning user emails in the past.

Charlie Nash is a reporter for Breitbart Tech. You can follow him on Twitter @MrNashington or like his page at Facebook.

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