[E-mail] providers like Google must scan the emails sent to and from their systems as part of providing their services. The automated processes at issue are Google’s ordinary business practices implemented as part of providing the free Gmail service to the public.From a supporting document filed by Google in a California court last Thursday • Making the case that Google needs to scan all emails sent through its services, as part of its “ordinary” practices to provide free Gmail to users. Google’s use of user information for advertising purposes isn’t particularly new or shocking — its system of presenting advertisements based on frequent keywords within user’s emails has been commonplace for years. But the stark terms in which Google is presenting this before the legal system — we simply must scan all the email — as well as this practice not being a blanket industry standard (Microsoft explicitly denies such scanning, as demonstrated in some lame ads for Bing, while Yahoo recently began following Google’s lead), is giving the company some less-than-desirable press at the moment. source
» An advertising play: “We can provide more relevant ads too,” Google points out. “For example, it’s January, but maybe you’re not a gym person, so fitness ads aren’t that useful to you.” More relevant for users, possibly, but more relevant for advertisers, too? It’ll be interesting to see what happens a few months down the line with this policy.
This is an unacceptable accusation.China Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu • Regarding Google’s claim that China has been infiltrating users’ Gmail accounts lately. We bet you’re wondering if she had any elaboration on this quote, considering its brevity. But, no, she didn’t. That’s all she said. Kinda awkward, isn’t it? source (via • follow)