Google Will Stop Scanning Your Emails to Show Personalized Ads in Gmail

Google today announced that it will stop scanning the emails of its free Gmail users for the purpose of delivering personalized ads later this year.


If you've recently received a lot of emails about photography or cameras, for example, currently Google may show you a deal from a local camera store that it thinks might be interesting to you. On the other hand, if you've reported those emails as spam, then Google would take steps not to show those ads.

Google users may still see personalized ads while using Gmail and the company's other services, depending on their account settings, but the contents of a user's inbox will no longer factor into the ads that are shown.

Tags: Google, Gmail


Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
23 months ago
I still don't trust Google.
Rating: 41 Votes
Avatar
23 months ago
Many years ago I had my Gmail hacked because I stupidly used the same password on a few websites (not all) and this Ubuntu forum I used to frequent before becoming a Mac user was hacked and they used that to access my Gmail. This was before two-step and stuff like that. And apparently my backup email, which was Yahoo back then, had shut down my email because I hadn't used it for so long. I couldn't find anyone at Google or anywhere on their site that could help me.

It was around that time that I was getting into Macs and iPhones and I had the realization that if you're not paying for it in some way, you're the product being sold. I think this was also around the time Google started doing creepy stuff like this and becoming more invasive with tracking, throwing their "don't be evil" motto to the wind, as well as blatantly copying the iPhone functionality in their new Android OS. I started removing myself from everything Google, such as Docs and Calendar that I used all the time, and moved everything over to Mobile Me when that came out. It was a bit of a cluster, but I liked paying for it instead of selling my soul to the devil, and it has gotten a lot better over the years. I just can't trust Google to not betray my trust or to have my back if something goes wrong.

That realization led to me eventually shutting down things like FaceBook, as I realized that I was just giving them all of this information for free so they could make money off of me while massively wasting my time. I wish there were a paid social network that doesn't have all that crap, but the nature of people and getting them to part with their cash means that you'd never get the network big enough to be worthwhile. They tried that with app.net a few years ago and it failed.
Rating: 16 Votes
Avatar
23 months ago

Ok, what's the catch ?

There isn't one directly. They are trying to sell Gmail as an "enterprise solution" to companies which don't want to run their own email infrastructure. It's part of what they call "G Suite". Corporate customers' email has never been scanned, but there has been a lot of confusion from them. To remove the confusion, the G Suite team pressured the Gmail team to remove content scanning entirely.
Rating: 12 Votes
Avatar
23 months ago

Google is garbage look at Nexus Pixel the next update will be in Oktober 2018!


I disagree. The Pixel was surprisingly a really nice phone with a solid build. I think Google did a nice job with the Pixel and it offered some nice features.
Rating: 11 Votes
Avatar
23 months ago
Still won't use. Such a creepy company.
Rating: 11 Votes
Avatar
23 months ago

Ok, what's the catch ?


After enough new people start using Google Mail they'll revert back to their old policy.
Rating: 10 Votes
Avatar
23 months ago

Ok, what's the catch ?

There's no catch.

However, ads in Gmail aren't going away. They are simply switching the way they target ads. Rather than scan the content of your e-mails to provide relevant ads in your Gmail, they will use your Google search history, YouTube history, and your behavior from other Google properties and services. This is the way they serve ads in Gmail to business customers (like G Suite).

This Bloomberg article ('https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-06-23/google-will-stop-reading-your-emails-for-gmail-ads') does a better job explaining it than MacRumors.

Of course, if you don't want to see ads at all in Gmail, don't use the webmail interface. Access your Gmail account with a standalone mail client like macOS Mail.app or iOS's built-in Mail app.

Webmail is a security risk anyhow. Best not to use webmail interfaces period, not just Google's.
Rating: 8 Votes
Avatar
23 months ago
The only service I’m using from Google is YouTube. Lost trust in everything else.
Rating: 8 Votes
Avatar
23 months ago
They also won't track students who use Chromebooks...wait a second....
Rating: 6 Votes
Avatar
23 months ago

Cool, still - you think an announcement like this will just cause a negative reaction anyway. I think it's cool but I know a lot of people who think Google is terrible on privacy (and yet they use Facebook every day.... (LOL)). As a heavy Google user - I'm surprised because they had to make a lot of $ off of that. I guess not enough?

I know a lot of companies switching to and currently using Google Apps (G Suite) - the company I work for uses it. Beats a terrible exchange server that you can only access on a company intranet.

My company also moved to G Suite. It's garbage. Literally the single worst email system I have ever used. pine on a command line for mail locally on a UNIX box is better than this. The one thing Google is supposed to be really great at, search, is utterly worthless. I can search for an exact phrase, with quotes and everything, and get a hundred results, none of which contain the phrase. Meanwhile, the two emails I know I have which contain the phrase don't show up anywhere in the results. Even the worst self-hosted email system I ever saw allowed me to download mail and search it locally with competent tools.

It's also eye-wateringly expensive. I have no idea how upper management thinks this is going to save us money. It will cost more than building a whole new Microsoft Exchange environment every single year. I'm sure the profits from even one additional G Suite contract vastly outweigh the drop in profits expected from no longer reading personal email messages. It isn't like they're no longer advertising in Gmail, after all.
Rating: 5 Votes
[ Read All Comments ]