Who is “Reading” your email.

email snooping

Earlier this week Microsoft launched a new advertising campaign calling Google to task for scanning all emails sent to Gmail and Googlemail email accounts for the purposes of targeted advertising.

If it isn’t bad enough that visiting webpages to read your email results in the a large portion of the page being filled by adverts it appears that Google are snooping on your email in order to deliver specific adverts based on private conversations you are having.  Microsoft have published a few examples; in one a user emailing a friend discussing having to have their cat put down is then targeted with adverts from Google for catteries and pet products.  In a second published example an email discussing a pending divorce generates adverts for divorce lawyers.

In the build up to this campaign Microsoft surveyed members of the public asking for their views and found that 83% were unhappy about having their emails scanned, and viewed it as an invasion of  their privacy.  93% of the people asked in the survey felt that users should be able to “opt out” of this practice which is not currently possible with the Google email system.

There is a very simple way to “opt out” of this barrage of advertising, be it targeted or not and it works for all email service providers whether it’s Google, BT Yahoo, Outlook.com or any of the others.  The solution is to have an email client installed on your personal PC which will connect to the email service on a regular basis and download your email direct to your PC.  This is not a new solution, in fact it’s one of the oldest methods of reading email, but it does mean that you don’t have to put up with all the adverts on the email service websites, and it means that your data is safe in your hands (well on your PC) rather than in the hands of companies that would like to snoop on your personal correspondence.

There are several email clients available for free and all are reasonably easy to set up and all will provide exactly the same functionality that website based mail clients do, in some cases more.

If you would like more information about this or to discuss which options might be right for you please contact us either by telephone or by using the Contact Us page on this site.