Have you ever looked up a product you are looking to buy, and just moments later that same product is conveniently located in an ad before a YouTube video or in your Gmail inbox? I guarantee that anyone who uses Gmail, which is going to be a large percentage of the population, has experienced this at one point or another. This is because Google reads your emails to create personalized ads tailored to your needs, but this will soon be changing, in a way.
Last Friday, Google announced a major change to its popular, and free version of its email service, Gmail. Google’s free version of Gmail will not be read by Google itself to personalized and tailor ads for its customers, sometime in the near future. Privacy experts have criticized Google for tracking and creating personalized ads, so an end is coming once and for all.
Google will stop reading the emails of those on its free Gmail plan sometime later this year. Google’s paid business Gmail plan, G Suite, is already untracked and ad-free. The move comes to bring the two services, free and paid, closer together. However, there is a catch (Isn’t there always?). This change does not mean you won’t see tailored ads anymore, if fact, you will most likely see the same number of tailored ads. The ads you see will just be tailored from the information gathered from your Google search history, or from the videos you watch on YouTube.
If you want to try and limit the information Google can collect, you can change those on the settings page of your account. Google has confirmed that emails will still be analyzed for other information besides ad targeting. However, Google did say that they, “will keep privacy and security paramount.”
Unfortunately, this has been common practice among all email providers for years now. These major email providers are businesses at their root, and the money that comes from these target ads is just too good for them to pass up. If you are truly concerned about the privacy of your emails, there is not much you can do, it is the way our world is. Time is going to the be factor as to how things work out.