Microsoft has long ridiculed Google’s penchant for scanning user Gmail content to show relevant ads within the web based email client, going so far as to mount a “Scroogled” campaign against the practice:
The Scroogled campaign has since been scrapped, but the process has never sat well with some customers, including corporate users who understandably would be a little leery of having Google read their email.
Paying Google customers, like those using Google’s G Suite office software, have never been subjected to the email scanning, but some customers, or potential customers, were confused by the distinction. That has prompted Google to change the policy across the board, according to Bloomberg Technology.
Ads will continue to appear in the free version of Gmail, but instead of being tied to the content of the ads, but instead be “targeted with other personal information Google already pulls from sources such as search and YouTube.”
In a blog post announcing the change, which will occur later this year, Google claims “more than 3 million paying companies” of G Suite, and 1.2 billion GMail users. Those corporate clients are apparently becoming more important for the Silicon Valley giant as it seeks to build up G Suite and compete with Office 365.