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Google vows to stop scanning student Gmail accounts for ads

To avoid marketing to kids and students, Google announced to remove advertisements from emails in education suite, that includes scanning of student Gmail accounts for targeted marketing.


It seems Google has learned that it would earn more trust via protecting privacy and providing best security measures. Google revealed its new movement in its Enterprise Blog, where it targets over 30 million of its Google Apps for Education users, including teachers, students and administrators from various part of the world. As of now, Google Apps provides free online apps such as Docs, Spreadsheets, Gmail, Drive, Slides, Calendar and more.

Following the lawsuit it found itself entangled in with California students last year, Google has disabled advertisements by default in all Apps for Education products and the company also completely removed the ads for signed-in users. Nevertheless, Google still kept the “ads enabling” button inside the main Administrator dashboard, this has been entirely wiped out now.

These are not the main point for the headlines today, but the real point is that the company has announced that it is permanently removing all advertisement scanning from Gmail for Apps for Education. Hence, Google will never have the ability to acquire student data for targeted ad tailored marketing, not anymore.

In the blog post, Google said:

“We’ve permanently removed the ‘enable/disable’ toggle for ads in the Apps for Education Administrator console. This means ads in Apps for Education services are turned off and administrators no longer have the option or ability to turn ads in these services on.

The new changes will also be introduced to all Google App customers including Business, Government and for legacy users of the free version. What’s the use with this step? But, let’s believe that everything is for good. Now those students and teachers can assure privacy of their personal information that will not be disclosed to advertisers anymore.

About John W Arthur

John is the head of our IT Security team and he writes about Security, IT news on The Next Digit. He was the Employee of the Year 2013 for his selfless support and efficiently setting up the whole security infrastructure. He also occasionally writes on "IT Sec Pro" Print Media of Sweden. All posts by John

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