Gmail to stop ad-targeting email scans

10:01 • 27.06.17



Google's decision to stop scanning Gmail users' emails in order to target them with personalised adverts has been given a qualified welcome by privacy campaigners.


The tech firm revealed the change in a blog at the end of last week, BBC News reports.


Google promised to make the move before the year's end to bring the consumer version of Gmail in line with its business edition.


The firm had faced much criticism over the years for the scans.


The measure helped justify the cost of offering the public one gigabyte of "free" webmail storage in 2004 - an offer that was so much greater than the competition at the time that many originally believed it to be a joke.

However, UK-based campaign group Privacy International tried to block the scans once it became apparent they were the cost of signing up to the service. The organisation tried and failed to get the country's data privacy regulator to intervene.

Then, a decade later, Microsoft ran a series of adverts, in which it first depicted a "Gmail man" searching through people's messages, and then went on to accuse the search giant of "crossing the line" causing its customers to be "Scroogled".


"When they first came up with the dangerous idea of monetising the content of our communications, Privacy International warned Google against setting the precedent of breaking the confidentiality of messages for the sake of additional income," the charity's executive director Dr Gus Hosein told the BBC.


"Of course they can now take this decision after they have consolidated their position in the marketplace as the aggregator of nearly all the data on internet usage, aside from the other giant, Facebook.



"The reality is that what you choose to say over email to another human being isn't as interesting for exploitation as the data you have no control over - Google would rather exploit your data by tracking you across the internet, across their mobile operating system, their search engine, their apps, their smart devices, and likely some day soon, their car, amongst a myriad of other services that they dominate through the exploitation of our data."


Google's blog notes that users can opt out of seeing personalised ads on any of its services by changing their account settings.

Another digital rights body, Big Brother Watch, was a little more positive.

"Whilst it could be seen as closing the stable door once the horse has bolted, there is no doubt that the end to the intrusive and frankly creepy process will be appreciated by a great many Gmail users," commented its chief executive Renate Samson.

"However, none of us must rest on our laurels.

"Whilst tech companies should see this as an opportunity to halt other intrusive snooping for advertising purposes, citizens equally should take greater care not to sign up to services which routinely share your personal information with third parties for the purposes of advertising or marketing.

"Google's move is absolutely a step in the right direction, let's hope it encourages others to follow suit."

While the ad-driven scans should soon stop, the news site Ars Technica has highlighted that Gmail messages will still be scanned by Google to provide artificial intelligence-powered "smart replies", malware-protection and sorting for search queries.

 





Загрузка...

LATEST NEWSAll Today news

13:10 • 21/04

Serzh Sargsyan calls for urgent political dialogue 'to avoid irreversible losses’

12:41 • 21/04

Armenian opposition leader’s calls ‘unconstitutional’ – Russian analyst

11:24 • 21/04

Armenian opposition continues protest actions against PM (updated)

11:02 • 21/04

Saakashvili issues call for ‘urgent dialogue’ between Armenian authorities and oppositon

10:24 • 21/04

EU leaders issue congratulations to Serzh Sargsyan

10:00 • 21/04

US Democrats sue Trump, Russia and Wikileaks

09:37 • 21/04

North Korea 'halts missile and nuclear tests', says Kim Jong-un

09:26 • 21/04

North Korea 'halts missile and nuclear tests', says Kim Jong-un

18:11 • 20/04

Paylan calls on Turkish government to recognize Genocide  

17:19 • 20/04

Armenian president re-appoints more ministers

17:00 • 20/04

Bentley launches official representation in Armenia

16:12 • 20/04

This is a ‘revolution of technologies’ - Alexander Iskandaryan  

15:38 • 20/04

Budget 6.1-inch LCD iPhone lineup could start at $550

15:13 • 20/04

Ratification of EU-Armenia deal ‘unrelated to political developments in Armenia’ – parliament official

13:34 • 20/04

US concerned about Turkey’s ability to hold transparent election

12:56 • 20/04

Ariana Grande unveils 'emotional single'

12:31 • 20/04

More protesters arrested as opposition rally continues

11:56 • 20/04

Police issue fresh warnings to participants of opposition rally

11:39 • 20/04

Turkish parliament committee ratifies election bill

11:23 • 20/04

Yerevan protests: Police continue arresting activists

10:39 • 20/04

Opposition rally: Day 8 (updated, photos)

10:29 • 20/04

OSCE/ODIHR Director urges Armenian authorities to protect and ensure right to freedom of peaceful assembly

10:09 • 20/04

Zhoghovurd: Foreign leaders do not make haste to issue congratulations to Armenian premier

09:35 • 20/04

Syria returns Assad award to France

09:15 • 20/04

Berlin set for mass evacuation as WW2 bomb is defused

17:55 • 19/04

Couple’s wedding reception goes up in flames when fireworks set the ceiling display alight and 300 guests have to flee the burning building

17:41 • 19/04

Young Armenian sambo athletes win 11 medals in European championship (photos)

17:04 • 19/04

Trump delivers Tribute to Barbara Bush in press conference speech

16:47 • 19/04

Robots master task of assembling Ikea chair  

16:12 • 19/04

Armenian president re-appoints three cabinet ministers

15:51 • 19/04

Medvedev congratulates Serzh Sargsyan on being appointed prime minister

14:56 • 19/04

Hollywood Studio chiefs hail opening of Saudi Arabia's first cinema

13:43 • 19/04

Latvian parliament ratifies EU-Armenia agreement

12:54 • 19/04

Syria crisis: Unexploded missiles ‘handed over to Russia’

12:46 • 19/04

Magnitude 5.9 earthquake strikes Bushehr Province 

12:14 • 19/04

Yerevan protests: Police urge journalists 'to keep reasonable distance’

11:55 • 19/04

2017 was unique year ‘without public protests’ in Armenia – Serzh Sargsyan

11:00 • 19/04

Glendale City Council approves Armenian American Museum project

10:49 • 19/04

2 killed, over 300 buildings damaged in Indonesia earthquake

10:05 • 19/04

Armenian opposition continues rally against prime minister (updated)

09:20 • 19/04

Top Japan official resigns over sex scandal

18:05 • 18/04

Russia vows ‘painful response’ to US sanctions

17:57 • 18/04

Turkey: Erdogan calls snap elections

17:36 • 18/04

Karen Karapetyan appointed Vice Premier

17:07 • 18/04

Azerbaijan not to use Russian missile system sold to Turkey – expert

16:34 • 18/04

Russia Today to face investigations over spy poisoning case

16:12 • 18/04

Iceland's Bitcoin heist suspect 'flees on PM's plane'

15:57 • 18/04

Run-away Dubai princes ‘brought back home’

15:52 • 18/04

Mexican mother-of-two, 43, named woman who was killed after being sucked out of Southwest 737 jet window after engine explosion

15:28 • 18/04

Facebook seeks facial recognition consent for European and Canadian users

14:08 • 18/04

Armenia will need extra aid in case of Azerbaijan-Belarus weapons trading – expert

13:18 • 18/04

Azerbaijani journalist wanted by Baku leaves Ukraine after months of uncertainty

12:52 • 18/04

Education Ministry urges political parties to avoid 'attracting teenagers to mass protests’

12:15 • 18/04

Opposition rally: Day 6 (photos, updated)

11:40 • 18/04

Zhoghovurd: Deepening West-Russia conflict to affect also Armenia

10:41 • 18/04

Israel conferred with US on anti-Syria strike

10:19 • 18/04

Yerevan protests: US Department of State urges for peace      

09:46 • 18/04

Artsakh serviceman fatally wounded in landmine explosion  

09:30 • 18/04

Syria 'chemical attack': Investigators await UN green light on Douma

18:28 • 17/04

Armen Sarkissian signs decree to appoint Serzh Sargsyan Prime Pinister

18:08 • 17/04

Prince William reveals he's a fan of NANDO'S after being introduced to the chain by one of his detectives as he gives a speech at a Commonwealth forum

17:14 • 17/04

Serzh Sargsyan elected Prime Minister of Armenia

16:46 • 17/04

Entrepreneur is raped and tortured in Russian jail, suffering a broken spine, electric shocks and stab wounds

15:32 • 17/04

More than 4,000 Emiratis seek to become UAE's first astronaut

14:53 • 17/04

Macron: EU in 'civil war' over democracy

14:08 • 17/04

Turkish court rules to keep US pastor in jail

13:49 • 17/04

Medieval Armenian cathedral to be reconstructed in eastern Turkey

12:52 • 17/04

Zhamanak: Kyrgyzstan’s membership in EEU to reduce privileges for Armenia

12:37 • 17/04

Hraparak: AUA encourages students’ attendance at public rallies

12:09 • 17/04

Armenian parliament opens special session to elect Prime Minister (updates)

11:47 • 17/04

Ombudsman's Office warns against excessive actions in public protests

11:01 • 17/04

Police sanction measures to disperse opposition rally in Yerevan

10:48 • 17/04

Legislative Armenian Caucus introduces Genocide resolution

10:13 • 17/04

Opposition rally: Day 5 (photos, updates)

09:33 • 17/04

Canada recalls diplomats’ families from Cuba

09:14 • 17/04

Syria: Chemical inspectors to be allowed in Douma

18:51 • 16/04

Fitch Affirms Ardshinbank's Ratings

17:28 • 16/04

'It's no secret that they despise each other!' Ex-security guard for Church of Scientology reveals bitter rivalry between Tom Cruise and John Travolta

17:15 • 16/04

Turkey-Russia ties too strong to be broken by France: Chavushoglu

16:59 • 16/04

Conchita Wurst reveals HIV diagnosis

16:49 • 16/04

Whitbread shares soar as activist investor builds stake

16:39 • 16/04

Police urge opposition to end rally, threatening 'use of force'

16:27 • 16/04

Iran bans foreign social media in schools

16:16 • 16/04

Armenian private reported killed in Nagorno-Karabakh

15:43 • 16/04

Parliamentary coalition unanimously nominates Serzh Sargsyan for prime minister

15:17 • 16/04

Trump sends campaign email saying Melania is his 'rock and foundation' amid the Stormy Daniels scandal

14:58 • 16/04

Trump 'morally unfit' to be president, says former FBI director  

14:50 • 16/04

UK satellite makes HD movies of earth

14:20 • 16/04

We expect Serzh Sargsyan to ‘complete reforms undertaken’ – ARF-D member  

13:45 • 16/04

Russian reinforcements head for Syria: Warships sail towards the Middle East as the world awaits Putin's response to airstrikes

13:13 • 16/04

Serzh Sargsyan: I will devote my time to sharing experience 'if appointed prime minister'

11:08 • 16/04

Trump defends use of ‘Mission Accomplished,’ extends sanctions

10:53 • 16/04

Vidal to miss Real Madrid’s match

10:34 • 16/04

US mission in Syria ‘has not changed’

10:25 • 16/04

Trump's Beast is just months away! New $1.5m presidential limo, which will protect him from ballistic, explosive and chemical weapons, to be ready for use late summer

10:00 • 16/04

Opposition rally: Nikol Pashinyan back to protest site after hospitalization

09:15 • 16/04

Macron says he convinced Trump not to pull out troops

18:03 • 15/04

Yerevan hosts U23 European Fencing Championship  

17:23 • 15/04

Assad: Reconstruction of Syria will cost $400bn and will take 15 years

17:09 • 15/04

Feted Italian film director Vittorio Taviani dies at 88