Big Brother Promises to Stop Reading Your Gmail

Big Brother reading emails through Google

Have you ever had the eerie feeling that your Google ads were literally reading your mind?

They weren’t. But they were reading your emails.

Google’s ad targeting based on your email copy – i.e. emails planning a trip to New York may correspond with ads for various Broadway shows — has been a long-standing practice of the company. But as of Monday, Google will gradually stop scanning the contents of individual Gmailers for advertising dollars, the company announced via blog post.

According to Diane Greene, Google’s cloud division head, the Gmail free email service will now function in the same way as its corporate G Suite Gmail. Though Greene didn’t give an exact reason for this change, we assume the move comes largely because both personal and corporate accounts users felt apprehensive about enlisting Google – as opposed to Microsoft, for example – with sensitive data.

Privacy activists have wagged their finger at Google for their email-reading ways essentially since Gmail launched in 2004. Though Google can still use your browser history and activity on other Google platforms – YouTube, Google searches, etc – to inform and personalize ads, it’s somewhat relieving to know that Big Brother won’t be in our Inbox anymore.

In the post, Greene said they planned to roll out the change “later this year.”

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