Google is a company which is known to have been practising the habit of scanning the contents of individual Gmail users for advertising purposes. The tech giant, in a blog post, said that it will be stopping such practices. Google, almost since the launch of its Gmail service had been using such a method to snoop on your emails to target advertisements. However, in a welcome move, Google will finally put an end to the controversial exercise of scanning user emails for targeted ad campaigning. Gmail said in the blog post that similar to the company’s commercial e-mail service, that is also a part of G Suite which the organisations and enterprises use, the same settings will now be applied to the consumer version of the service.
For the uninitiated, and users who have no idea what G Suite is, it is essentially Google’s solution for enterprises only. This service includes Gmail, Google Spreadsheets, Google Docs, Google Drive and more. The company has also said that it has over 3 million companies which pay for using the G Suite. It is understandable, with the enterprise version of Gmail, the cannot just scan emails to create targeted ads, otherwise, those companies will not come on board in the first place. Google, on its blog, has explained that Gmail in G Suite is not used for ads personalisation, and they will now do the same with regular, old Gmail as well. Google’s blog post says, “Consumer Gmail content will not be used or scanned for any ads personalization after this change.”
The new blog post says that Google’s G Suite will remain ad free. However, a Bloomberg report points out that, ads will still be a part of the consumer version of Gmail. It says that these will now be based on data Google pulls from search, YouTube, etc.
Google also points out that Gmail now has more than 1.2 billion users, making it one of the biggest email services in the world. Google’s blog post also says they will “keep privacy and security paramount,” for their users.
Gmail’s scanning of emails to create targeted ads, has been a topic for a lot of criticism in the past. In Gmail, Google shows ads based on user settings, and these can be disabled in the settings. So how can you manage ad settings for your Google account?
A video you may like to watch before you read the process to disable Gmail’s ad scan:
Firstly, you will have to go to myccount.google.com. Ensure that you are signed in. In the website, there will be a tab for Personal Info and Privacy. Within that tab, you will find and option in a list which says ‘Ad Settings’. You will have to click on the link, and then you will be needed to go to the tab which reads as ‘Manage Ad settings.’ In the newly opened web page, you will find the option to turn ‘On’ or turn ‘Off’ on the Ads Personalization feature for the personal Google account. You can then just toggle off, and now the targeted ads will finally stop for your Google account. Additionally, you can also scroll down further on the same ‘Manage Ad Settings’ page, to find the option to ‘Opt out of more ads.’ Selecting this option will turn off Ads personalisation for the Google ads you probably see on websites that partner with Google and use its ad network.