Microsoft really wants you to use Outlook.com, going as far as attacking Google’s Gmail service. It isn’t the first time Microsoft tried to go after Google. Back in November, Microsoft claimed that the results from Google Shopping were advertisements rather than a fair comparison of products by delivering listings ranked by “bid price”. Now the new Scroogled.com from Microsoft warns users that Gmail scans through your emails to serve you better targeted ads.
“Google goes through every Gmail that’s sent or received, looking for keywords so they can target Gmail users with paid ads.” according to the site. “And there’s no way to opt out of the invasion of your privacy.”
Some of what Microsoft is saying is true, Gmail does scan your email for keywords to send targeted ads, but it’s wrong about not being able to opt out. You can opt out of these ads by either using Gmail’s basic HTML view, through a third-party email client, or you can fork over $50 a year for a Google Apps account.
Google is aware of this privacy issue and states that it walks a careful line between protecting its users and serving ads. “There is what I call the creepy line,” Google chairman Eric Schimidt said. “Google policy is on a lot of these things is to get right up to the creepy line but not cross it.”
Microsoft tries to advise users to instead use its Hotmail replacement service, Outlook.com.
Outlook.com prioritizes your privacy. You won’t see ads based on keywords from your personal email. Your email is nobody else’s business. But Google makes it their business. Even if you’re not a Gmail user, Google still goes through your personal email sent to Gmail and uses the content to sell ads.