Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ads in Gmail and your personal data

So I've decided to start a new email account separate from my company email -- for the primary purpose of developing good electronic communication habits in general. Please remember that an Employee basically has no right to privacy in the workplace, including correspondence on email accounts and communication devices issued by the Employer. An Employer has access to any and all employer-provided and maintained electronic communications of employees at his fingertips. It's really that easy... and completely legal. Though I do hope that one day the Supreme Court would overturn decisions on workplace communications that I think should be private -- and accept that in today's modern society, most communications occur electronically and should be protected and private -- I realize it is an upward battle. Perhaps a battle worth fighting only with counter-surveillance tactics rather than direct confrontation of the beast and its robot spy toys.

Upon feeling liberated from my employer's watchful eyes, I see that Big Brother exists everywhere. Nowhere in cyberspace is private. If you choose to participate in society, you pay the price of constant monitoring.

Ads in Gmail and your personal data

Ads that appear next to Gmail messages are similar to the ads that appear next to Google search results and on content pages throughout the web. In Gmail, ads are related to the content of your messages. Our goal is to provide Gmail users with ads that are useful and relevant to their interests.

Ad targeting in Gmail is fully automated, and no humans read your email in order to target advertisements or related information. This type of automated scanning is how many email services, not just Gmail, provide features like spam filtering and spell checking. Ads are selected for relevance and served by Google computers using the same contextual advertising technology that powers Google's AdSense program.

Privacy, Transparency and User Choice

Google does not and will never rent, sell or share information that personally identifies you for marketing purposes without your express permission. No email content or other personally identifiable information will be provided to advertisers. We provide advertisers only aggregated non-personal information such as the number of times one of their ads was clicked.

Privacy is an issue we take very seriously. Only ads classified as Family-Safe are distributed through our content network and to your Gmail inbox. Also, we are careful about the types of content we serve ads against. For example, Google may block certain ads from running next to an email about catastrophic news. In addition, we will not show ads based on sensitive information, such as race, religion, sexual orientation, health, or sensitive financial categories.

If you don't want to see ads in Gmail you have the option of using the HTML interface, or POP or IMAP. We're also committed to data liberation: if you decide to switch to a new email provider, it's easy to set up automatic forwarding for all new messages that arrive in your Gmail account.

If you'd like to know more about how Google handles your information, please check out the Google Privacy Center.

1 comment:

Oso said...

Guess that new iPhone aint sounding so cool after all eh?

The only true resistance is to unplug...