Scroogled No More: Google Will Stop Scanning Gmail for Ads

Posted on June 23, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud, Microsoft Consumer Services, Office 365 with 18 Comments

Scroogled No More: Google Will Stop Scanning Gmail for Ads

As part of an effort to more closely align its business and consumer versions of Gmail, Google announced that it will no longer scan users’ email to generate personalized ads. That’s right. Google is going to stop Scroogling us.

“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 senior vice president Diane Greene writes. “Consumer Gmail content will not be used or scanned for any ads personalization after this change.”

Several years ago, Microsoft took a few stabs at exposing Google’s behavior of scanning email to generate personalized ads, first with Gmail Man and then with the successful (and accurate) Scroogled ad campaign. As Microsoft pointed out at the time, it only scanned email to look for malicious content. It doesn’t read your email, like Google does, to generate better advertising.

Well, now Google won’t either.

“This decision brings Gmail ads in line with how we personalize ads for other Google products,” Greene says. “Ads shown are based on users’ settings. Users can change those settings at any time, including disabling ads personalization. G Suite will continue to bead-freee.”

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