Feeds

UK punters scowl at webmail ad targeting

Hands off our inboxes

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Two in five Brits are worried that free webmail comes at the expense of privacy because firms are scanning their messages in order to serve up targeted ads.

A similar 40 per cent of 1,800 Brits polled in a survey by alternative freemail firm GMX were unaware of the practice. One third of Brits quizzed during GMX's Attitudes to Email study reckoned scanning of personal email should be allowed only on a voluntary basis, with providers offering the ability to opt out.

Only one in 50 of those quizzed thought the practice was in their best interests. One in five (18 per cent) were indifferent to the scanning, with the rest either against or previously unaware of the practice. Negative reactions included anything from embarrassment to anxiety.

"It is understandable that many Britons are wary about their private emails being scanned for advertising reasons," said Eva Heil, MD at GMX. "It is certainly important that every user is at least informed if this is done by their email service.

"At GMX, we view emails to be like sealed letters, and so we do not scan private email content for ad reasons."

Heil drew a distinction between filtering out spam and viruses from incoming messages and scanning messages solely to serve up ads. Some webmail outfits, such as GMX, scan for malware and spam but not for the purposes of serving up targeted ads. Scanning simply in order to serve up ads is a sore point for many consumers, according to the GMX-sponsored research, which also found that the average Briton maintains an average of two email accounts which they check once a day. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Google recommends pronounceable passwords
Super Chrome goes into battle with Mr Mxyzptlk
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
Reddit wipes clean leaked celeb nudie pics, tells users to zip it
Now we've had all THAT TRAFFIC, we 'deplore' this theft
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
TorrentLocker unpicked: Crypto coding shocker defeats extortionists
Lousy XOR opens door into which victims can shove a foot
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.