Google is to change the way that it targets advertising at users of its Gmail free email service in a bid to silence critics of its attitude to users' privacy.
It has announced that it will no longer use users email content as a source of targeted advertising.
In a blog post, the company confirmed: "G Suite's Gmail is already not used as input for ads personalization, and Google has decided to follow suit later this year in our free consumer Gmail service. Consumer Gmail content will not be used or scanned for any ads personalization after this change.
"This decision brings Gmail ads in line with how we personalise ads for other Google products. Ads shown are based on users' settings. Users can change those settings at any time, including disabling ads personalization. G Suite will continue to be ad-free."
The news will come as a confidence boost for those who have questioned Google's commitment to privacy, given the relative conflict of interests between its customer-facing services and its multi-billion dollar advertising platform.
Google continues blowing its own trumpet, talking of its 1.2 billion Gmail users, and claiming to be the most successful company at blocking users from cyber nasties such as spam, hacking and fishing. It's worth pointing out that in order to keep doing that - it will scan your email content generically.
While this applies to Gmail, it won't apply to YouTube videos, G Suite docs, search results, or pretty much everything done online while logged-in to a Google account.
The news preempts plans by the EU to clamp down on what it regards as abuses of online privacy.
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