Google says the change in its policy allowing the company to trawl through emails will give "people even greater clarity". Photo: AP
It's no secret that Google keeps an eye on what users of its services are into. But on Monday, the company updated Gmail's terms of service to spell out its relationship with users in no uncertain terms:
"Our automated systems analyse your content (including emails) to provide you personally relevant product features, such as customised search results, tailored advertising, and spam and malware detection. This analysis occurs as the content is sent, received, and when it is stored."
A Google spokesman told The New York Times that the changes "will give people even greater clarity and are based on feedback we've received over the last few months."
By feedback, Google might mean a federal judge's swift denial of the company's attempt to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Gmail users and non-users who've sent emails to Gmail accounts. The lawsuit claimed Google violated federal and state wiretapping laws by scanning emails without consent.
In its motion to dismiss, Google argued that Gmail and non-Gmail users had given express or implied consent to have their e-mails scanned. Northern California US District Judge Lucy Koh rejected Google's claims, noting that Google's terms of service didn't explicitly say they scanned emails.
The Washington Post