Feeds

Google in NOT EVIL shocker: Bins student email ad scanning

No more rooting through your virtual postbox, Mountain View promises

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Google has taken the astonishing decision to stay partly true to its founding promise after deciding to stop scanning kids' emails.

Until now, Google automatically rooted through all users' mails so they could be targeted for advertising.

But now Mountain View has decided to abide by its "don't be evil" maxim and stop the scanning of students' emails, although everyone else is still fair game.

Bram Bout, director of education, told the Washington Post that it will no longer scan email accounts used by about 30 million teachers and students.

In fact, Google will now no longer collect data from any of the services offered as part of Google Apps for Education, which offers email, calendars and other handy stuff.

Its decision follows a court case in which students sued Google for scanning their email accounts.

Teachers welcomed Mountain View's decision.

"Commercialisation seeps into all corners of children's lives," said Christine Blower, general secretary, of the NUT.

"The targeting of children with advertising ranging from fast food to designer clothes is relentlessly pursued by commercial companies. This is a welcome move."

But what about the rest of us? Surely we don't deserve to have our emails scanned so Google can show us advertising?

"It is certainly telling that a company like Google, which is so reliant on data driven advertising, is taking steps to act on people's concerns about their privacy," said Emma Carr, deputy director of Big Brother Watch.

"Scanning emails is clearly intrusive, so any step to protect children is a positive one. However, Google could certainly go further by introducing the same controls for users of all ages and for all of its services." ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
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?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.