Google will no longer scan people’s messages in its Gmail service for the purpose of generating targeted advertising.
Diane Greene, Google’s head of its cloud computing business unit, announced the decision in a blog post on Friday, explaining it “brings Gmail ads in line with how we personalize ads for other Google products.”
Google (GOOG) currently shows its users personalized online advertising based on a person’s account settings.
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The search giant has long scanned the messages of people who use the free consumer version of Gmail to generate targeted ads, but has not done the same for its business customers, who subscribe to a corporate version of Gmail that falls under Google’s G Suite business software unit.
In an interview with The Financial Times, Greene explained that the decision to stop scanning emails could potentially help Google win more business customers, who were confused about the way Google scans consumer emails but not the emails of its corporate clients.
Google, according to the report, hopes the decision alleviates any possible confusion and boosts sales of its cloud and business software services to businesses with privacy concerns.
“G Suite customers and free consumer Gmail users can remain confident that Google will keep privacy and security paramount as we continue to innovate,” Greene wrote.