Gmail scanned only the emails of private users, business accounts being exempted. Google said that it decided to kill the feature within free personal accounts too to better align consumer and business products.
“Consumer Gmail content will not be used or scanned for any ads personalization after this change,”
the web search giant said.
Gmail users can opt out of the intrusive feature “at any time” by disabling ads personalization. Paid business accounts will continue to have no ads. The company unveiled that the decision belongs to its cloud team. It was Google’s senior vice president of cloud Diane Greene who made the announcement Monday via a blog post.
Google to Change its Data Collection Practices
Greene explained that ditching ads personalization is needed because paying users are confused by the different types of policies between the business suite and their personal accounts.
Free accounts will still feature ads, which will be personalized using other sources of information such as web searches and Google’s video-sharing website YouTube.
Google has been slapped with lawsuits over its covert scanning practices multiple times. In December, the company finally agreed to change the way it runs its ad business within Gmail as part of a settlement in the Mater vs Google case.
Plaintiffs accused the tech giant of violating California and U.S. privacy laws with their scanning practices. They filed the complaint on behalf of all people who want a Gmail account but don’t want their emails scanned under the service’s Terms of Service.
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