Google’s Gmail is putting an end to the controversial practice of scanning consumer emails for targeted ad campaigns. Google made the announcement in a blogpost and said, that just like the company’s commercial Gmail service, which is part of G Suite and used by enterprises and organizations, they will apply the same settings to the consumer version of the service.
Google’s blogpost explains that Gmail in G Suite is not used for ads personalization, and they will now do the same with regular, old Gmail as well. Google’s blogpost says “Consumer Gmail content will not be used or scanned for any ads personalization after this change.”
For those who don’t know G Suite is Google’s solution for enterprises. This includes Gmail, Google Docs, Google Spreadsheets, Google Drive etc. Google also says they have more than 3 million paying companies that are using G Suite. Of course, with the enterprise version of Gmail, Google can’t be scanning mails to create targeted ads, else companies won’t come on board.
Google’s G Suite will remain ad free, says the new blog post. The company 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 blogpost also says they will “keep privacy and security paramount,” for their users.
Gmail’s scanning of emails to create targeted ads, has been a subject of much criticism in the past. However, as a report in Bloomberg points, ads will still be a part of the consumer version of Gmail. These will now be based on data Google pulls from search, YouTube, etc. 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?
First just go to My Account.google.com, and make sure you are signed in. Here you will see a tab for Personal Info and Privacy. The third option is this list is Ad Settings. Click on that, and you’ll have to go a tab called ‘Manage Ad settings.’
In this page, you’ll see the option to turn off or on the Ads Personalization feature for your Google account. Just simply toggle off, and targeted ads will stop for your Google account. You can scroll down further in the ‘Manage Ad settings’ page, and you’ll see the option to ‘Opt out of more ads.’ This will turn off Ads personalization for the Google ads you likely see on websites that partner with Google and use its ad network.