In welcome news for Gmail users across the globe, Google is going to stop scanning their emails to bombard them with personalized ads. Of course, they’ll still be shown advertisements, but the promotions won’t be sourced from the contents of their messages.
Google’s change of heart hasn’t emerged out of concern for their consumer’s privacy though. It’s more of a business decision to attract more enterprise customers. Its corporate G Suite service doesn’t use ads personalization in Gmail, but the fact that it does so for regular users appears to have lead to confusion among corporations, plus a general distrust with regards to its handling of sensitive data.
Google is now trying to change its reputation by pledging to stop email scanning for everyone at some point later this year. It should be noted that people can switch off ads personalization right now by heading to My Account, tapping on Ads Settings, choosing to Manage Ads Settings, and finally switching off Ads Personalization.
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As noted above, Google will still display ads to individuals based on factors like their search history, website visits, and YouTube activity. The company recently announced that it was planning to introduce an in-built ad-blocker into Chrome by 2018, but this would only target promotions it considers bad.
Google’s G Suite is facing increased competition from rivals like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure at the moment. It currently has over 3 million companies paying for its cloud services, but will have to do much more to reassure potential ones that their data is safe from its own prying eyes.