Yahoo chided by Which for email change

Yahoo chided by Which for email change

Summary: Yahoo has been rapped by consumer group Which for changing the terms and conditions of its email service to automatically scan messages.Which came down on the mail and search company on Thursday.

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TOPICS: Storage
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Yahoo has been rapped by consumer group Which for changing the terms and conditions of its email service to automatically scan messages.

Which came down on the mail and search company on Thursday. It said the changes allow Yahoo's email systems to automatically scan the content of emails.

"This is another example of creeping behavioural advertising, which we believe, is a gross violation of internet users' privacy," Georgina Nelson, an in-house lawyer for Which, said. "Most consumers would be horrified to learn that their email can be read in order to open the door to targeted advertisers."

Yahoo does this to help it fight spam and serve more targeted ads to users, it said. Gmail, the email service operated by Yahoo's search rival, Google, has been scanning messages to target ads since 2004.

Yahoo said it will ask for consent before scanning user emails.

Topic: Storage

Jack Clark

About Jack Clark

Currently a reporter for ZDNet UK, I previously worked as a technology researcher and reporter for a London-based news agency.

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4 comments
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  • I'm with Virgin, formerly Blueyonder. Virgin have outsourced their email service to Gmail. Does this mean that all my emails are scanned. If so, goodbye Virgin, no matter the inconvenience.
    The Former Moley
  • Moley,
    What kind of interface do you see when you use your email? As far as I know Gmail scans and presents ads at point of consumption, so if Virgin has outsourced the infrastructure but wrapped its own UI round the service things could be different.
    Jack Clark
  • Jack,

    Virgin do have their own customed interface online. I haven't taken any notice of how adverts are served up. Mostly I use Mozilla Thunderbird, as I prefer the emails to be pyisically on my computers.
    The Former Moley
  • Bloomberg TV has aired the history of Google, the major part of the success as a business model was due to the fact that it was able to gather information about its users and utilize it in innovative ways.
    Ergo, if you use any device or interactivity associated with Google be sure to read the fine print on the privacy policies. Your free e-mail service was never really free.
    P.Crest