Is Google invading my privacy by reading my email so they can target advertising at me?


EQ Forum Admin
Staff member
Is Google invading your privacy? Sort answer - No, I don't believe so.

Yes, Google "scans" your email so they can provide relevant ads based on it's content, but they claim not to be storing and keeping information for your email besides what is required for industry standard backup and disaster recovery procedures.

Google does not share or sell the content of your email with 3rd parties.

Here is the source for Google's view on privacy and targeted ads - Gmail - More on Gmail and privacy

Targeted ads in Gmail

All major free webmail services carry advertising, and most of it is irrelevant to the people who see it. Google believes that showing relevant advertising offers more value to users than displaying random pop-ups or untargeted banner ads. In Gmail, users will see text ads and links to related pages that are relevant to the content of their messages. The links to related pages are similar to Google search results, and are culled from Google's extensive index of web pages. They are selected solely for their helpfulness and are not paid advertisements.
No email content or other personally identifiable information is ever shared with advertisers.
By offering Gmail users relevant ads and information related to the content of their messages, we aim to offer users a better webmail experience. For example, if you and your friends are planning a vacation, you may want to see news items or travel ads about the destination you're considering.
To ensure a quality user experience for all Gmail users, we avoid showing ads reflecting sensitive or inappropriate content by only showing ads that have been classified as "Family-Safe." We also avoid targeting ads to messages about catastrophic events or tragedies.
Many people have found that the search-related ads on can be valuable--not merely a necessary evil, but a welcome feature. Similarly, many users have told us that they have found Gmail's ads and related pages to be helpful, because the information reflects their interests.