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Google stops scanning of student e-mail in Google Apps for Education

updated 10:49 am EDT, Wed April 30, 2014

Changes remove option for advertising in educational version of Google Apps

Google will no longer scan the e-mail of students to serve advertising, the company has revealed. Users of its Google Apps for Education service will be safe from having their data and e-mails accessed by Google's monitoring systems for advertising purposes, with the move affecting more than 30 million students, teachers, and administrators around the world.

Google Apps for Education had previously set the administrator options for advertising on accounts to disabled by default, giving administrators the option of enabling them. Administrators now no longer have the option to turn on advertising, with all ad-scanning in Gmail for Apps for Education shut off as well. Users who have added Adsense to existing Google Sites will still be allowed to display existing advertising on the pages, but they will not be able to edit or add more.

Similar changes will also be made to all Google App customer accounts, including those using Business, Government, and the legacy free version, though Google has not advised what exactly will change nor when.

The changes follow a lawsuit where users complained about Google scanning e-mails for marketing purposes without obtaining permission from Gmail users beforehand. Google defended itself, claiming "all users of e-mail must necessarily expect that their e-mails will be subject to automated processing." The lawsuit triggered a change in Google's terms of service earlier this month, making it highlight its scanning policy in a new paragraph.

by MacNN Staff



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