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Gmail Pledges to Stop Reading your E-mails

Isn’t it funny? You might be having a peruse of CDs on Amazon. You might be considering the purchase of a car on Autotrader. Maybe even something for the partner from Anne Summers (we do not judge here). Following this, you might decide to do something completely different and then BOOM, you’re hit with a seemingly random advert for something you were literally just looking at.

Targeted advertising based on web browsing is not new. Google, however, has promised that it will stop scanning your Gmail account for specific target advertising. Huzzah!

I wasn’t even aware Gmail did this!

Hardly surprisingly, but then, nothing is free is it?

Scanning of your e-mail content as part of targeted advertising was part of the agreement you signed up to when you created your free account. You, of course, knew this as you carefully read all of that fine print legalese.

Sarcasm aside, you could be forgiven for not knowing this. It has however been a hot issue that many anti-privacy groups have fought hard for Google to change in its Gmail service.

Although not quite as worrying as a recent report of a Judge ordering an entire towns browser history to be reviewed, it’s still a little disturbing to know such practices are conducted.

The announcement, being made from a Google blog post has been welcomed. Many view this as more ‘about time’ rather than ‘well done’.

Microsoft did decide to take advantage of this, creating a rather barbed attack on the e-mail service. The video for this is linked at the bottom of this article.

Will this mean anything? Will Gmail change?

Likely not. Google makes billions without having to rely on selective advertising. Google had always stated before this move that users were able to opt out of it, however, as above, I doubt many knew this even existed.

Better late than never I guess and it brings an end on Gmail at least to what is a mildly creepy practice. “Mum, I swear, I have no idea why that advert is coming up! I don’t want a Russian Bride!!!”.

Mike Sanders

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