Google Gets Explicit On Email Scanning With Fresh Terms

Tech giant takes action after facing criticism for not being clear over Gmail scanning

Tech titan Google has updated its terms of service to explicitly explain to users that it scans emails to better understand them and target them with ads.

Google is currently facing lawsuits over alleged breach of US privacy regulations in its email scanning. The firm had argued users had implicitly agreed to email scanning.

Google Street View - Shutterstock - 1000 WordsA spokesperson for Google told Reuters the changes would “give people even greater clarity and are based on feedback we’ve received over the last few months”.

Google’s new terms on email scanning

Whilst Google decided not to use the word “scan”, it openly stated: “Our automated systems analyse 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.

“If you have a Google Account, we may display your Profile name, Profile photo, and actions you take on Google or on third-party applications connected to your Google Account (such as +1’s, reviews you write and comments you post) in our Services, including displaying in ads and other commercial contexts.

“We will respect the choices you make to limit sharing or visibility settings in your Google Account. For example, you can choose your settings so your name and photo do not appear in an ad.”

The company has also been hit by various fines across Europe for merging the privacy policies of its various services into one document. Many regulators believe Google breached privacy laws by deciding it could combine user data between its products.

The latest official body to issue a fine over the issue was the French watchdog CNIL, which slapped the internet giant with a €150,000 penalty.

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