Google to stop scanning Google Apps for Business, Government email accounts for ads

Google has announced its decision to stop scanning the email inboxes of all Google Apps customers, in addition to students for ad serving purposes.

It was recently reported that Google would stop scanning email inboxes linked to Google Apps for Education after facing complaints from students and teachers in the the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, as well as being dragged to court regarding breach of privacy. Now, the company has announced that it will stop scanning the email accounts of Google Apps for Business and Government as well, for advertising purposes.

According to TechCrunch, the Google Apps control panel will no longer feature the "enable/disable" toggle for ads and the advertisements will be turned off by default with no option to turn on in the future. Google is expected to rollout the update soon and will notify the users on completion.

In the past, Google has defended itself in court rooms against claims of email scanning saying that the automated process is an essential business practice for the company and not a crime. In its updated "Terms of Service," the company tried to provide clarity to its users regarding the same. However, it seems that recurring criticism has finally urged Google to rethink its strategy to some extent.

Source: TechCrunch | Image via Whitehatsme

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11 Comments

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Now will Google stop scanning NON-google mail content sent to google mail addresses? I don't use google(with the exception being YouTube.. video monopoly!) and I don't exactly agree with MY content being scanned profiled and datamined and researched for commercial purposes.

Google says my consent is implied in this case, I beg to flippin differ! And I cannot simply tell someone else to "please use a service that respects your privacy.. I'll mail you when you switch derp"

dingl_ said,
Now will Google stop scanning NON-google mail content sent to google mail addresses? I don't use google(with the exception being YouTube.. video monopoly!) and I don't exactly agree with MY content being scanned profiled and datamined and researched for commercial purposes.

Google says my consent is implied in this case, I beg to flippin differ! And I cannot simply tell someone else to "please use a service that respects your privacy.. I'll mail you when you switch derp"

That's and inherent problem with electronic communication, be it email or IM: the recipient of the message is free to do with it as he pleases. He can forward it to other recipients or give third parties access to it.

Neowin also uses Google Apps for domains (before they nuked the free version) but I do not see the option to switch of ads. Guess this doesn't apply to all of them?

I think they treat the free Apps accounts as consumer accounts. We got 15GB instead of 30 back when they did that too.

I never got the commotion. It's automated scanning for keywords to display more relevant ads only you will see. What's the big deal? They've always admitted doing so and it's not like they're just selling your data.

Ambroos said,
I never got the commotion. It's automated scanning for keywords to display more relevant ads only you will see. What's the big deal? They've always admitted doing so and it's not like they're just selling your data.

Because not everyone wants their emails "scanned" by someone else. They'll save the data and use it for trending, again not something I want.

If I have a personal email conversation with a friend and discuss marriage problems or intimate details, do you think I want to see ads on my work PC for marriage councilling or sexual advice?


Adam1V said,
Because not everyone wants their emails "scanned" by someone else. They'll save the data and use it for trending, again not something I want.

If I have a personal email conversation with a friend and discuss marriage problems or intimate details, do you think I want to see ads on my work PC for marriage councilling or sexual advice?

There is also the issue I have - you're paying for a service so why are they still harvesting details? I thought that was the deal, you get something for free and they harvest your information as a form of payment but if you pay for their service then you get your privacy back.

Ambroos said,
I never got the commotion. It's automated scanning for keywords to display more relevant ads only you will see. What's the big deal? They've always admitted doing so and it's not like they're just selling your data.

That is the most annoying #### there is... I can visit a site or make a search and then I am bombarded everywhere I go. Yes they are selling your info to company although it's indirect it's still selling your info.

I am glad that MS has forced google to do this this will likely hurt Google's bottom line in the long term.