The company did scan the emails in personal Gmail accounts in order to aim users with personalized adverts but said in a blog post it would quit doing so in order to “more closely align” its enterprise and consumer products. Its business offering, the share of G Suite, has never involved scanning emails.
“G Suite’s Gmail is previously not used as input for ads personalisation,” wrote Diane Greene, the senior vice president and administration of Google Cloud. “Google has decided to follow suit later this year in our free customer Gmail service. Customer Gmail content will not be used or scanned for any ads personalisation after this change.”
Although G Suite clients, who pay Google for business use of a portfolio of web apps containing Gmail, Google Docs, Calendar, and Contacts, have never had their information scanned for use in advertising, many potential customers have nevertheless put off the product by the mistaken impression that they were, Greene told Bloomberg. “What we’re going to do is present it unambiguous,” she said.
G Suite will still scan emails for other pieces. Security scans, common to both the customer and business products, will continue to pick up spam, hacking and phishing attempts, while features like Gmail’s “Smart Reply” – which increases suggested replies to messages based on previous emails will be available for administrators to enable in G Suite.
The shift in advertising policies on Gmail shows the growing degree to which Google considers its enterprise customers. Greene’s remit covers not only G Suite but also the company’s cloud computing platforms, which are undeviatingly competing against rival Amazon’s attempts to position Amazon Web Services as the core foundation of the internet.
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