Probably all Gmail users have noticed ads when you’re using the free web-based version of Gmail, but not all might know that the ads are actually based on the content of your e-mails. Google is looking for keywords within your e-mails and is displaying relevant ads to you, hoping you would click on them (which makes Google a bit richer each time you do).
On one side, sure, I’d probably prefer to see ads that are relevant to me. I don’t care about cats so I don’t need to see ads for fantastic cat foods, they’ll probably annoy me more than seeing an ad about something I care more about. On the other side, it is kinda creepy that your e-mail is being indexed like that, and used to show you ads.
Below is the Office 365 advertisement from Microsoft, featuring “Gmail-man” who skims through peoples mail.
While “Gmail skimming your e-mail” is not exactly breaking news (or news at all), I still think it’s relevant to make sure people are aware that even if it looks free to use their service(s), you’re paying with your personal information instead. Personally, I don’t care (yet), but maybe eventually it becomes too much and I’d rather start paying for ad-free services elsewhere. What about you? Leave a comment below!