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Google to Stop Scanning Your E-mails for Ad Purposes

By: Nick Gambino

Whether you’re aware of it or not, if you have a Gmail account Google has been scanning your e-mails for keywords to personalize your ad experience. In other words, if you’re sending e-mails about skateboards, you might start seeing an ad on the right side of your screen within G-mail for a skateboard on eBay.

Per a new blog post from Google, this years-long practice is ending. “This move is intended to more closely align the free consumer e-mail experience with that of G Suite,” Diane Greene, Senior VP of Google Cloud said in the blog post. “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.”

G Suite users aren’t targeted by personalized ads. In fact, they don’t see ads at all. Which one would expect when they pay for a service. (I’m looking at you Hulu.)

“This decision brings Gmail ads in line with how we personalize ads for other Google products,” Greene explained. “Ads shown are based on users’ setting. Users can change those settings at any time, including disabling ads personalization.”

Now, I don’t want you to get this twisted. This doesn’t mean if you’re a Gmail user, you’ll stop seeing ads pop up. It just means they won’t be personalizing those ads based off information they gathered from your e-mails. That’s all it means.

They’ll still be able to track your browsing patterns on YouTube and your Google search history. And I’m pretty sure, though I haven’t proven this yet, they’re using a mind-reading device to determine what ads they’ll show you. It’s just too much of a coincidence that I think of men’s spanx and then I’m suddenly seeing ads for the comfortable clothing.

Either way, this is a major step forward for those concerned about privacy issues. Greene says this change will go in effect later this year.

What do you think of Google’s change in policy? Should we be concerned about our privacy when it comes to Google tracking our patterns? Let us know your thoughts!


Nick Gambino is a regular script writer and tech beat reporter for NewsWatch. He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and daughter.

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