Gmail users can now rest assured knowing that Google Inc. isn’t scanning their messages for targeted ads, the company revealed Friday.
In a June 23 blog post Diane Green, senior vice president of Google’s cloud division, explained the move was related to the company’s enterprise software platform G Suite, which is currently used by more than 3 million paying companies – and which, she was quick to note, already did not scan emails to personalize ads.
“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,” she wrote. “This decision brings Gmail ads in line with how we personalize ads for other Google products.”
When contacted by Bloomberg, Greene said that some business customers had been confused by the distinction between Gmail’s enterprise and consumer divisions, and that the announcement was an effort to unambiguously clarify the company’s ad policy.
As Green put it in her blog post, Google now bases ads on user settings, which allow users to disable personalized ads entirely.
Ad personalization, meanwhile, is based on inputs such as browser history and views on other Google-affiliated sites such as YouTube.
“The value of Gmail is tremendous, both for G Suite users and for users of our free consumer Gmail service,” Green wrote. “G Suite customers and free consumer Gmail users can remain confident that Google will keep privacy and security paramount as we continue to innovate.”