Google’s attorneys say their practice of electronically scanning Gmail accounts is to help sell ads. They also claim there is nothing wrong with it and it is legal. The federal judge has been asked to dismiss the lawsuit that intends to stop this practice.
Google argues that “all users of email must necessarily expect that their emails will be subject to automated processing.”
The class action lawsuit, says Google “unlawfully opens up, reads, and aquires the content of people’s private email messages” this is in violation of California’s privacy laws and federal wiretapping statues. The lawsuit states that the company scans 425 million users accounts that aren’t signed up with Gmail, but are receiving messages from Gmail users.
These users never agreed to Google’s terms under the Gmail accounts Terms and Conditions.
The TargetGoogle has confessed to targeting its advertising based on the words users input to their Gmail messages. For example, the company see’s a lot of messages about guns or hunting, then Google would send the information to its database and would display advertisements from local sporting goods stores onto your page. Google claims the process is fully automated, “and no humans read your email…”
People believe their email is private for better or worse. But in Google’s eyes, the 97% revenue they are receiving from advertising outweighs your Right of Privacy.
Your RightWhen using Gmail, you can block individual advertisers through Google Ad Preferences, where you can opt out of getting personalized ads. Advertisements will still appear on your page but those ads aren’t from Google and won’t be based on your search terms.
Microsoft also shows ads in their Outlook.com email account, but those ads are based on demographic info. Such as your age, geographic location, and gender that is provided when signing up for the service.
Both services have an “automated system scan” although Gmail is actually directed into your private messages. Microsoft also uses information from your Xbox, Windows phone, and Internet browsing sessions to serve ads.
So both services personalize ads bases on the user, both services allow users to turn off the ad personalization, and both services do not share information with advertisers. They just populate the advertisements into your page.
What ads do you see appear on your computer screen? We’d like to hear your story below!
Follow us on Twitter at @hyphenet or “Like” us on Facebook to stay up-to-date on the latest tech news and PC security alerts.
Google Pleads Their Case For Scanning Your Emails To Help Sell Ads – Huffington Post
September 5, 2013
Scroogled: How True Is Microsoft’s Google Attack Ad? – About.com
Where Does Google Get 97% of Its Revenue? – GIGAOM