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February 08, 2013

Microsoft Fighting Against Gmail Ads

By Jody Ray Bennett, TMCnet Contributing Writer

Software giant Microsoft has had enough with Google (News - Alert) and what it considers “bad ad practices,” The Washington Post Reports. The campaign, known as “Scroogled,” asserts that Google’s sources of targeted ads on their Gmail service is unwanted by consumers.

“Think Google respects your privacy?” the Scroogled site says. “Think again.”

The Google E-mail service features sidebar advertisements. The content of the advertisements is determined by the content of the user’s E-mail. Keywords in E-mails are then passed through Google’s advertising algorithms and then display ads specifically targeting the user.

Microsoft (News - Alert) paid GFK Roper to carry out a study on E-mail users’ thoughts on content-based advertisements. More than half of responders said that they would “strongly disapprove” of E-mail providers scanning the content of personal E-mails in order to target the user with advertisements; at least 88% of responders in each categories disapproved of such a practice. Over 80% of responders said that scanning of personal E-mails was an invasion of privacy, and nearly 90% said that E-mail providers should not be allowed to scan E-mails in order to provide ads. Over 80% of responders said that E-mail users should be given the option to opt-out of such tactics.

Google Inc. gets nearly all of its profit from its AdWords advertising service. With $10.73 billion in profits made in 2012, Google is a massive advertising company. Google already uses customer’s data from G+ and search results to tailor AdWords results on pages throughout the Internet. The permissions to use such information are part of the user license agreement of having a Google account or using the Google search engine.

At the bottom of the Scroogled page it clearly states that it is a Microsoft site and an advertisement to use, the Microsoft version of an E-mail service provider

Edited by Ashley Caputo
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