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Google explains why it reads users' email in terms of service update

The company said that by analysing both incoming and outgoing mail, it allows it to target users with tailored ads and personalised content.
Apr 15th 2014, 6:09 PM 13,913 27

GOOGLE HAS CLARIFIED its terms and services which now informs users that both incoming and outgoing email are analysed by automated software.

The terms, which were updated on Monday, say that by scanning users’ email, it allows it to target them with tailored ads and personalised content.

This scanning action happens anytime a user uploads, submits, stores, sends or receives content through Google’s services.

Our automated systems analyze your content (including emails) to provide you personally relevant product features, such as customised search results, tailored advertising, and spam and malware detection. This analysis occurs as the content is sent, received, and when it is stored.

The update comes more than a month after California court denied a request to turn a long-running Gmail lawsuit into a class-action case.

The lawsuit claimed the practice violated the state’s privacy laws and federal and state wiretap laws, but Google defended the practice saying that scanning is done by algorithm, and not humans.

Google is also considering giving a boost to those sites which use encryption in its search engine. According to the Wall Street Journal, Google head of webspam, Matt Cutts, has spoken in private conversations of Google’s interest in making the change, but this is still at an early state and any changes made won’t happen soon.

Read: Google buys solar-powered drone maker Titan Aerospace for internet project >

Read: 1 in 5 US internet users have had bank account details and personal data stolen – survey >

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Quinton O'Reilly

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