Google will stop scanning Gmail content for ad targeting

The move brings the consumer version of Gmail in line with the G Suite version, which never scanned email content for ad purposes.
Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Writer

Later this year, Google will stop relying on the content of consumer Gmail messages to serve up personalized ads, the company announced Friday.

Consumer Gmail content will not be used or scanned for ads, the company said, bringing the consumer version of the popular email service in line with the business version, which is part of G Suite.

"G Suite customers and free consumer Gmail users can remain confident that Google will keep privacy and security paramount as we continue to innovate," Diane Greene, SVP of Google Cloud wrote in a blog post.

It also creates more consistency in the way Google pesonalizes ads across its products. Other Google products creates targeted ads based on users' settings. Users can change those settings at any time or disable ad personalization.

Google previously faced legal challenges over its handling of email, and in 2014 the company updated its terms of service to explicitly state that it scanned emails in order to serve personalized ads.

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