Google started scanning emails of its users to offer them more ‘personalised’ ads. While there was quite a bit of an uproar about this when Google initially announced this move, the company went ahead with the move. Now though, the company has announced that from later this year, it will stop scanning email contents for Gmail users to offer them personalised ads.
The move has been taken by the company so that G Suite — the paid version of Gmail for enterprise customers — is able to attract more enterprise customers. While Google does not scan emails of G Suite users to show them personalised ads, enterprises were wary of signing up for it since the free and consumer-oriented Gmail did and that posed a privacy risk.
Paying Gmail users never received the email-scanning ads like the free version of the program, but some business customers were confused by the distinction and its privacy implications, said Diane Greene, Google’s senior vice president of cloud. “What we’re going to do is make it unambiguous,” she said.
This does not mean ads are completely going away from Gmail though. The company will continue showing ads inside Gmail as promoted messages but instead of showing ads based on the emails you receive, they will now be personalised through other information that Google already collects about you from other sources.