Google to stop scanning personal Gmail accounts for ad targeting

Search and email giant says move brings consumer product in line with its business G Suite offering

Google will stop scanning personal Gmail accounts in order to deliver targeted advertising from later this year.

In a statement released on 23 June, the search and email giant said it will stop scanning the emails of consumer accounts for inputs, and instead only rely on a user’s settings in order to personalise advertising.

In the statement, Google senior vice-president, Diane Greene, said the move was designed to align the company’s consumer offering with its other products, including its business offering, G Suite. Google has not been scanning the business emails of its 3 million paying customers for inputs into ad targeting, and Greene confirmed there were no long-term plans to.

“G Suite’s Gmail is already not used as input for ads personalisation, and Google has decided to follow suit later this year in our free consumer Gmail service,” Greene’s statement read. “Consumer Gmail content will not be used or scanned for any ads personalisation after this change.

“The value of Gmail is tremendous, both for G Suite users and for users of our free consumer Gmail service.”

Greene also emphasised Google’s focus on transparency and security. She also highlighted further advancements to Gmail were on the cards, including add-ons for payments and invoicing directly within Gmail. Google now has more than 1.2 billion Gmail users globally.

“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 stated.

But according to one article at least, Google will keep scanning emails for other reasons. In its report on Google’s decision, Variety reporter, Janko Roettgers, pointed out Google’s Smart reply feature uses machine learning to figure out the main intent of an email, then suggest short and adequate responses. This uses email body text, response and subject line to algorithmically generate responses.

The company also allegedly scans email for other reasons, such as for links to potentially fraudulent sites, filter out spam, or to add events to schedules based on the emails an individual is getting.

 Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu    

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Will our manners go the same way as texting when robotic servants take over?

Much of the talk in the industry is focused on the limited amount of time that screens have left in our lives.

Katja Forbes

Founder and chief, sfyte

Social purpose: Oxygen for your brand health vitals

If trust is the new currency, then we’re in deep trouble. Here's why.

Carolyn Butler-Madden

Founder and CEO, Sunday Lunch

Customer experience disruption: Healthcare faces a bitter pill

Over the past decade, disruptors such as Amazon, Apple and Australia’s Atlassian have delivered technology enhanced customer experiences, which for the most part, have improved customers’ lives and delivered unparalleled growth. Can they do the same for healthcare?

Alex Allwood

Principal, All Work Together

Thank you for sharing such an informative post about Yoga Mats.....we also offers Yoga Mats at very affordable prices. For more info you ...

Yogamats India

Food for Thought: How a policy of diversity and inclusion helps improve CX

Read more

Does Magento have any progressive web apps?

libertylady

​Adobe aims to compete with the big guns in digital commerce

Read more

According to the executive manager for commercial and marketing within the Events Melbourne team, Lucan Creamer, the City’s vision for th...

Armstrongsmith

Melbourne Fashion Week: Using digital and insight to drive engagement and attendance

Read more

The key difference is designers no longer have to spend all their time translating their ideas into digital models, which is the grunt wo...

Armstrongsmith

What automated design is going to do to 3D printing and product customisation

Read more

The four financial-oriented metrics employed are return on marketing investment; revenue per customer; marketing expenditure versus budge...

Armstrongsmith

Report: Accountability key to marketing's influence in business

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in