24 June, 2017
Gmail is free, in part because Google has always scanned the contents of users' inboxes in order to serve targeted ads. As the current announcement does make it clear that G Suite is already "gaining enormous traction" and that "there are more than 3 million paying companies" now using Google's businesses-focused suite. While we're a long way away from complete privacy from Google's prying eyes (and will nearly certainly never get there), the company's decision to stop pulling information from Gmail certainly is encouraging.
Privacy activists have long complained that the scanning of email contents amounts to unwarranted "eavesdropping" on users.
Google's practice of analyzing incoming and outgoing emails of its free consumer Gmail users has been criticized on privacy concerns. That's right. Google is going to stop Scroogling us. "Users can change those settings at any time, including disabling ads personalization, G Suite will continue to be ad free", said Greene.
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"G Suite's Gmail is already not used as input for ads personalization, and Google has made a decision to follow suit later this year in our free consumer Gmail service", Google senior vice president Diane Greene writes. Facebook and Apple have similar practices as well, so don't think you're getting away from it if you use the internet. It also erases one of the arguments against giving users a way to easily and seamlessly encrypt their email-something Google and other free email providers have resisted because it would prohibit them from scanning messages for profit. The company added an explanation of the scanning to its terms of service in 2014, but doing so did not satisfy a federal judge in San Francisco, who rejected a legal settlement in March that proposed to pay $2.2 million to lawyers, but nothing to consumers.
Danny Sullivan, founding editor of the online blog Search Engine Land, called the move a "big change" for Gmail, noting that the scanning of email contents 'has been the biggest hit against the services since it began'. However, Google will no longer scan your mails to sell targeted ads.