Google is ending a practice long hated by privacy advocates: the automated scanning of Gmail messages for the purpose of serving up relevant ads to it users.
“G Suite’s Gmail is already not used as input for ads personalization, and Google has decided to follow suit later this year in our free consumer Gmail service,” Google Cloud senior vice-president Diane Greene said in a blog post. “Consumer Gmail content will not be used or scanned for any ads personalization after this change.”
Google’s decision to end all e-mail scanning brings an end to a practice that has been in effect since the tech titan launched Gmail back in 2004.
Now, ads will be shown based on users’ settings. Users will have the option of changing those settings, including disabling ads personalization, whenever they choose — and G Suite will continue to be ad free.
“G Suite customers and free consumer Gmail users can remain confident that Google will keep privacy and security paramount as we continue to innovate,” Greene said. “As ever, users can control the information they share with Google at myaccount.google.com.”
Google said it would officially end all scanning of Gmail messages later this year.