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Google updates policy
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Tech Zim
16/04/2014

Google updates its privacy policies, warns you that it is scanning your emails

Yesterday Google updated its privacy policies with a very elaborate expansion on how it is, among other things, analysing all your content including messages on its Gmail service.

According to the new privacy policy this analysis of content is driven by a need to “provide you with personally relevant product features, such as customised search results, tailored advertising and spam and malware detection.” This is an “honest” disclaimer from Google, considering that they are facing a lawsuit on email scanning in the United States.

The analysis of the content is carried out not only as it is sent or received, but also when it is stored. The rest of the privacy policy remains largely unchanged, although going through the entire document basically reaffirms our knowledge of the significant privileges we award some of these service providers.

Although Google gladly tells you that they do not own whatever content you entrust with them, they have the liberty to do a lot with it. Sadly this privilege that we award them when most of us “blindly” accept the terms and conditions of their service allows them to peer into emails which should in theory be private messages.
Perhaps the consolation that this “content analysis” is not conducted by humans should be enough to dismiss concerns of privacy, but we cannot forget that what was meant for one recipient should always stay private. The sensation caused by the revelations made by Snowden on privacy invasion goes to shows how sensitive this issue is.

Recently another tech giant, Microsoft, came out proclaiming their concerns for their Hotmail users’ privacy when they tightened their privacy policy. This came after they admitted to having read the emails of a journalist when they were tracking a corporate leak. This raised concerns on how far privacy was being prioritised by service providers.


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