Diane Greene, SVP for Google Cloud, explained that the decision to make the change was tied to the increasing popularity of the company's business and enterprise-focused services. "This decision brings Gmail ads in line with how we personalize ads for other Google products", Greene wrote in the post.
While Google has stated it won't be scanning personal Gmail accounts for providing ads, the process will still be in practice for other purposes.
For those who don't know G Suite is Google's solution for enterprises. But Microsoft's Cortana can also scan emails in Outlook.com and Office 365 to provide users with reminders for events based on the content of emails. Of course you had the option to turn that off (which apparently some people don't know about).
Over the years, the backlash to email scanning for ads has led Google's rivals to distance themselves from the capability.
Privacy activists have long complained that the scanning of email contents amounts to unwarranted "eavesdropping" on users. Topics will also be added as you use some Google services (ex: when you watch a video on YouTube). You can then just toggle off, and now the targeted ads will finally stop for your Google account. That's because the former actually don't get their emails read by Google while the latter does.
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In a blog post, Greene cites Gmail's various security and privacy-centric features, and frames the change as a way to more closely align G Suite's Gmail and consumer Gmail.
It's a little known fact that Google has been scanning the emails of free Gmail accounts to help marketers better target advertising shown within the service.
Google will stop scanning the inboxes of free Gmail users to tailor ads for them.
Ads based on scanned email messages drew lawsuits and some of the most strident criticism the company faced in its early years, but offered marketers a much more targeted way to reach consumers.
Gmail is the world's leading email service provider with more than 1.2 billion users.