Google has confirmed to the Wall Street Journal that it will no longer scan student Gmail accounts for ads. The practice was called into question last week as part of a court case in which Google has been accused of violating wiretap laws.
The story says that the decision was due to Google revealing as part of its response to the lawsuit that it does scan Gmail accounts for the students who are signed up to use its Google Apps for Education program. The lawsuit was filed in 2013 by a group that claims Google's Gmail policies violate the the Federal Wiretap Act and the California Invasion of Privacy Act.
In response, Google has now said it will no longer collect or use any data that come from students who use its Google Apps for Education program. This will also be extended to businesses and governments that use Google Apps.
This decision will likely be considered a victory for many online privacy groups and advocates who have had concerns about Google's Gmail scanning practices since the company first launched the email service 10 years ago. Earlier this month, Google added a paragraph to its Terms of Service that was written to better explain its reasons for scanning Gmail accounts.