San Francisco: Google has announced that it will stop scanning the inboxes of Gmails free users for ad personalization at some point later this year.
Diane Greene, Google's Senior Vice President for Google Cloud, said the company made this decision because it "brings Gmail ads in line with how we personalize ads for other Google products", Tech Crunch reported on Friday.
Google already doesn't do this for business users who subscribe to its G Suite services, but until now, it routinely scanned the inboxes of its free users to better target ads for them. It then combined that information with everything else it knows about its users to build its advertising profiles for them.
"Consumer Gmail content will not be used or scanned for any ads personalization" later this year, the technology company based in Menlo Park, Northern California, said in a posting on its website, Xinhua news agency reported.
"Ads shown are based on users' settings. Users can change those settings at any time, including disabling ads personalization. G Suite will continue to be ad free," the company said.
Available in 72 languages, Gmail was launched in 2004 as free, advertising-supported email service with over 1 billion users worldwide.
Google would not stop showing ads in Gmail, though, and it's worth noting that given how much the company already knows about all of its users, it just might not need these additional signals from Gmail, Tech Crunch reported.