Google Updates Terms of Service to Disclose Email Scanning for Targeted Ads
April 15, 2014 9:29 AM
comment(s) - last by
Google says that Gmail users consented to scanning and practice is part of the normal delivery process
updated its Terms of Service
(TOS) to fully disclose to users that their incoming and outgoing emails are automatically analyzed using software. The software is analyzing the emails to create targeted ads that can be served to the user.
Google's TOS reveal that emails are scanned when they are stored on Google services and when in transit.
Google is currently fighting in court on allegations of violating the privacy of hundreds of millions of users. Courts in the U.S. decided last month not to combine several suits into a class action against Google.
Some Gmail users believe that Google is violating state and federal laws with its email scanning practices. Google continues to argue that
users of Gmail consented to the activity
and that it is part of the normal email delivery process.
The update terms of service spell this out more specifically. The new update reads:
Our automated systems analyze your content (including emails) to provide you personally relevant product features, such as customized search results, tailored advertising, and spam and malware detection. This analysis occurs as the content is sent, received, and when it is stored.
Google spokesman Matt Kallman said Google's changes, "will give people even greater clarity and are based on feedback we've received over the last few months."
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
4/15/2014 5:49:28 PM
Not all small email services are cleartext - anyone can buy an SSL cert, and as far as that goes, even if you're using Gmail, you have the same theoretical risk if the person on the other end isn't using SSL.
On the other hand, someone illicitly picking up your emails is likely guilty of wiretapping, or some other applicable offense, and you can prosecute them. What Google et al are doing is perfectly legal - your only recourse is to not let their services use you.
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