Microsoft targets Gmail users with new Scroogled campaign

first_imgGoogle is relentlessly sifting through your Gmail emails to serve up advertisements — and that’s just plain wrong, says Microsoft in its latest “Don’t get Scroogled” campaign. Google has taken heat for this practice before, and it’s gone as far as litigation in several cases. It’s an issue that has had Google’s legal department playing whac-a-mole since 2004 when Gmail first launched.As you’d expect from a Scroogled attack, Microsoft gets pretty sensational in its claims. The results of a Microsoft-commissioned survey (always a trustworthy source of data) play a prominent role this time around. Unsurprisingly, nearly 90% of those questioned responded that they disapproved of email scanning and that providers shouldn’t be allowed to scan the content email ads to show contextual ads. The same number also felt that an opt-out should be provided.Microsoft’s Director of Online Services Stefan Weitz says that “people feel that reading through their emails to sell ads is out of bounds.” He goes on to say that Microsoft respects the privacy of its Outlook.com users and believes that Google is violating that sacred trust every time an Outlook user emails a Gmail user. The icing on the cake with Scroogled:Gmail is that Microsoft has taken the extra step of launching an online petition and is urging users to take a stand against this gross injustice. So far, only around 300 have digitally signed on the line.There are a few problems with Microsoft’s claims, of course. The biggest is that Gmail users have all consented to Google’s terms and conditions, and that consent has been enough to get the company off the hook in the past. Google also clearly labels the ads, explains why they show up, and is pretty transparent about the entire process. Beyond that, Google does allow users to opt out of personalized ads and even block specific advertisers if they wish. If you’re really uncomfortable with the ads, you can even access your Gmail account via an IMAP client and avoid them entirely.last_img

first_imgGoogle is relentlessly sifting through your Gmail emails to serve up advertisements — and that’s just plain wrong, says Microsoft in its latest “Don’t get Scroogled” campaign. Google has taken heat for this practice before, and it’s gone as far as litigation in several cases. It’s an issue that has had Google’s legal department playing whac-a-mole since 2004 when Gmail first launched.As you’d expect from a Scroogled attack, Microsoft gets pretty sensational in its claims. The results of a Microsoft-commissioned survey (always a trustworthy source of data) play a prominent role this time around. Unsurprisingly, nearly 90% of those questioned responded that they disapproved of email scanning and that providers shouldn’t be allowed to scan the content email ads to show contextual ads. The same number also felt that an opt-out should be provided.Microsoft’s Director of Online Services Stefan Weitz says that “people feel that reading through their emails to sell ads is out of bounds.” He goes on to say that Microsoft respects the privacy of its Outlook.com users and believes that Google is violating that sacred trust every time an Outlook user emails a Gmail user. The icing on the cake with Scroogled:Gmail is that Microsoft has taken the extra step of launching an online petition and is urging users to take a stand against this gross injustice. So far, only around 300 have digitally signed on the line.There are a few problems with Microsoft’s claims, of course. The biggest is that Gmail users have all consented to Google’s terms and conditions, and that consent has been enough to get the company off the hook in the past. Google also clearly labels the ads, explains why they show up, and is pretty transparent about the entire process. Beyond that, Google does allow users to opt out of personalized ads and even block specific advertisers if they wish. If you’re really uncomfortable with the ads, you can even access your Gmail account via an IMAP client and avoid them entirely.last_img

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