Google just announced in its blog post that it would stop scanning emails of individuals for promoted targeted advertisements.
Google has been carrying out this practice of scanning individual emails and sending them targeted ads from the time it launched the Gmail service.
The practice has been controversial from the beginning and consumers have been raising privacy concerns regarding it. Businesses have been collecting a lot of personal data of users and putting the data security at a lot of risk.
Google is capable of digesting the email content of the user and then delivering a targeted ad in the Gmail screen itself. However, the user can opt out of such ads. In addition, Google was making use of this practice only in case of individuals and not for a corporate account.
For instance, if you have been receiving a lot of messages about shoes, you could be hit with a hot deal from Nordstorm available nearby. You can opt out of targeted ads by going to Google Settings and turning off the ad personalization. However, you cannot stop Google from collecting data.
However, many corporate users of Gmail were wary of this practice and Google was not able to retain such clients on the cloud service business. Diane Greene, the head of cloud division for Google, stated to the Financial Times that there was a lot of apprehension and confusion among business clients regarding Google’s strategy concerning sensitive user data.
Change in Policy
According to Green’s statement in a blog post made on the 23rd of June, Gmail for G Suite is no longer being used for personalizing advertisements. Later on this year, the same policy will also be applied to free Gmail services. The content in your mail will no longer be scanned or used for sending targeted ads. The new policy will make Gmail ads similar to how ads are personalized for the rest of Google products.
Google has also been crowing about the recent improved performance of G Suite. The usage of Google’s services by businesses has become more than double during the past year, according to Google.
Green had been fighting an uphill battle while trying to reassure companies into using the G Suite and putting their data on Google cloud services. The competitors in this sector, Microsoft as well as Amazon, are market leaders offering top cloud services. Amazon also offers hosting services and Microsoft offers productivity service for corporates. Google is attempting to draw more customers by reassuring them that it will not put their business privacy at risk.
No More Ads?
Does this mean that users will not be seeing any more ads on their Gmail screens? Not necessarily so. Google will continue parsing your search history and YouTube and Chrome browsing habits. If you have a Gmail account, you will still continue to see ads. So essentially, Google will not peek into your Inbox, but will continue to show ads based on your activities on Google and partner sites. But corporate clients need not worry any more.