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Google Halts Gmail Scanning for Education Apps Users 67

Posted by timothy
from the but-we-were-only-peeking dept.
itwbennett (1594911) writes "Google will no longer scan the email messages of students and other school staff who use its Google Apps for Education suite, exempting about 30 million users from the chronically controversial practice for Gmail advertising. In addition, Google is removing the option for Apps for Education administrators to allow ads to be shown to their users. Until now, ads were turned off by default, but admins could turn on this feature at their discretion. A Google spokesperson called the move part of a 'continued evolution of our efforts to provide the best experience for our users, including students' and not a response to a recent lawsuit alleging that by scanning Gmail messages Google violated wiretapping laws and breached users' privacy."
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Google Halts Gmail Scanning for Education Apps Users

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  • by BasilBrush (643681) on Thursday May 01, 2014 @08:50AM (#46888517)

    New Google Mission Statement: "Don't continue to be evil after we've been called out on it in the tech press."

  • Re:Scanning (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bmo (77928) on Thursday May 01, 2014 @08:55AM (#46888553)

    >It feels like an invasion of privacy.

    Then use someone else.^1 It's not difficult.

    If you don't know that there are other email providers or that you can set up your own mail server, then the problem lies with /you/, not Google.

    But that's only the beginning. If you don't want people looking at your stuff, encrypt it. Email is a postcard without any ability to put an "envelope" around it except full-on encryption. Otherwise /anyone/ in the RECEIVED: chain and Tinfoil Agencies can read it.^2

    Sorry, but your argument is invalid.

    --
    BMO

    Footnotes:

    1. My oldest active email address is literally in someone's basement on their LAN. For 18 years, roughly.

    2. Before the idiots chime in here and say "but nobody should be looking at all!!#$!$#!@#" - not every country has the same privacy laws, and not every provider in the RECEIVED: chain has the same policies. Depending on Google to defend your privacy with plaintext messages is dumb.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 01, 2014 @09:00AM (#46888593)

    It's not wiretapping because you give consent to the scanning when you sign up for their FREE email account.

    If you want privacy, get an email service that features it. Don't expect privacy when you willfully opt-in.

  • Re:Scanning (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BasilBrush (643681) on Thursday May 01, 2014 @09:06AM (#46888629)

    2. Before the idiots chime in here and say "but nobody should be looking at all!!#$!$#!@#" - not every country has the same privacy laws, and not every provider in the RECEIVED: chain has the same policies. Depending on Google to defend your privacy with plaintext messages is dumb.

    It's neither idiotic, nor dumb. The way email works might be part of your specialist knowledge (and mine and most people who read slashdot). But that doesn't mean that perfectly intelligent people in other domains know how email is implemented. If you took a survey of doctors or architects or humanities professors, then probably a minority would know about the plaintext transport of email, They are not stupid people, they just know about different things. And many things that they know about you don't. But they are not calling you an idiot.

    When we criticise the bad behaviour of tech companies, we do it for EVERYONE, not just for computer geeks. People without this specific field of interest don't deserve to have their lack of specialist knowledge taken advantage of any more than they deserve to be called idiots by the likes of you.

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