Google has promised to stop scanning student emails for marketing purposes.
We’re so accustomed to advertisers marketing their products to us that we’re almost offended when they stop and even wonder, ‘what’s wrong with me, anyway?’ That is, until we find out their sly tactics involve invading our privacy and scanning our inbox to directly target us.
The ethics seem to go deeper where education is involved. After being entangled in a recent lawsuit with California students, internet search giant Google has promised to stop scanning student emails for marketing purposes.
The California lawsuit ruled that Google’s automated crawling of student emails was a direct violation of a U.S. law that protects access to student educational records. In response, Google has disabled all advertising in their educational products offered to students.
Google’s Apps for Education service, which provides free computing apps to universities and schools will now always have adverts turned off. As well, the option that administrators used to have to enable them no longer exists. What’s more, Google has permanently removed all ads scanning in Gmail for Apps for Education, so they can no longer collect or use student information in Apps for Education services for advertising purposes.
Google’s Director of Education, Bram Bout, says “Today more than 30 million students, teachers and administrators globally rely on Google Apps for Education. Earning and keeping their trust drives our business forward. We know that trust is earned through protecting their privacy and providing the best security measures.”
Incentive to go ad-free in the classroom may go a little further. A competitive product offered in the U.S. by Microsoft’s Bing has recently been touted by that company as ad-free. Not wanting to be outshone by the competition, Google followed suit.
It seems they may have a little more than respecting your privacy in mind.