Good news, Gmail subscribers – Google is going to stop snooping in your emails and using what they find to target advertising at you.
Maybe you didn't know they did this, but nonetheless the internet giant announced on Friday that later this year, it's going to stop doing the thing you might not have known about.
In a blog, Google said "consumer Gmail content will not be used or scanned for any ads personalization" within its free Gmail accounts.
As The Verge explains, Google has been doing this pretty much since the inception of Gmail, scanning the contents of your email accounts – the information from which would be used to target ads at users within Gmail itself, unless you opted out.
Even though Google never did this to subscribers to Google's paid-for, corporate G-Suite accounts, the fact the practice continued on free, consumer accounts led to confusion among its business subscribers and caused "overall apprehension to trust the company with sensitive data," The Verge notes.
The Register reports that email scanning was almost a necessary evil that early adopters of Gmail put up with because Google was offering a gigabyte of email storage when it introduced its scanning system in 2004 – compared to "pitiful" amounts from competitors like Hotmail, which only offered 2MB.
"While people weren't particularly enamored with the idea of having their emails automatically scanned, they certainly liked the storage enough to continue using it," the website notes.
If you're interested in finding out how to limit Google's scans of your emails before it shuts the system down permanently, Gadget Hacks has a guide here.