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Google Microsoft Advertising Technology

MS Targets Google With Another Smear Campaign 513

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-can-trust-us dept.
walterbyrd writes with news that Microsoft's PR department has started a campaign to convince Gmail users that Google reads your personal emails, referring to Google's automated method of scanning emails for keywords to generate supposedly relevant advertising. "The gist of the scare campaign is that Google is a scary, scary company that reads your private emails in order to send you targeted ads. 'Even if you don't use Gmail, if you send email to someone who does, Google goes through those emails to generate advertising revenue too,' Microsoft warns in material sent to reporters. Oh, and Microsoft points out that six class-action lawsuits have been filed against Google over this issue, and asks people to sign a petition 'to tell Google to stop going through your personal email messages.'"
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MS Targets Google With Another Smear Campaign

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  • Where's the lie? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by hessian (467078) on Friday February 08, 2013 @11:00AM (#42832879) Homepage Journal

    Google does scan your emails for keywords. That information may be stored or revealed in any number of ways.

    What I'd like from MSFT: a guarantee (legal contract) that MSFT will not do the same on the new

  • No kiddin' (Score:2, Interesting)

    by war4peace (1628283) on Friday February 08, 2013 @11:08AM (#42832987)

    Whenever I use an e-mail service I don't fully own, I assume someone else will eventually read my messages. Frankly, nothing I send out is sensitive or important, or something that can't indirectly be obtained through third party sources.
    Maybe I'm weird, but I listen to my gut feeling that tells me Google is more trustworthy than Microsoft.
    So. My work e-mail can be read by my employer (I know that for a fact) and is automatically scanned for sensitive words, especially if I send e-mails to external addresses. My personal e-mail is automatically scanned by Google. I say, let them do it, I'm trying hard to determine if there was any message I sent or received that would piss me off when read. And yes, I'm a very light message sender, my Google account activity report for last month shows 7 sent messages, up 40% compared to previous month. One was a reply to a virus link sent by a contact, telling him he has a virus. Two were responses to career opportunities, telling them "I reject your proposal". Three were responses in a conversation with my son's doctor, about his treatment, and one was a cancellation of an online order. Big deal.

  • by F34nor (321515) on Friday February 08, 2013 @11:12AM (#42833059)

    I have recently seen both quotes + and - ignored by google. Seriously WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON? Google google cheat sheet. If their own operators are no longer working the end is definitely fucking neigh for google as my search engine. I was deeply annoyed when this was happening in froogle (sic) but when MBA bullshit propagates into the search window I am looking else where.

    So does anyone have any other options?

    Is there a website that tracks google misbehaving?

  • And Hotmail doesn't? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by gstoddart (321705) on Friday February 08, 2013 @11:16AM (#42833111) Homepage

    Are we meant to believe Bing isn't crawling Hotmail?

  • by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Friday February 08, 2013 @11:35AM (#42833403) Homepage
    It's supposed to look that way. Some people will think it's more legitimate if it doesn't look like a big money production. Like it's coming from the little guy and not a competing mega corporation.
  • by Shagg (99693) on Friday February 08, 2013 @11:41AM (#42833503)

    Do you think automated parsing of an email to target ads is "reading your private emails"? If so, do you also think that a spam filter running on the mail server "reads your private emails"?

  • by wytten (163159) <wytten AT cs DOT umn DOT edu> on Friday February 08, 2013 @12:07PM (#42833867) Homepage

    (It has already been pointed out that Google moved the old behavior into what they call "Verbatim search", found under "Search tools")
    I agree with your sentiment--IMHO this is telling of changes within Google. Geeks drove Google to the top of the search engine precisely
    because of the ability to locate only exactly what you want. Apparently within Google the marketers have wrested control from the techies, falling into the "more search results must be better" trap.

  • by Karl Cocknozzle (514413) <> on Friday February 08, 2013 @12:54PM (#42834557) Homepage

    "Reading" implies a "person reading your email."

    No, it does not.

    In this context it clearly is intended to imply a person is reading it: The advertisement and smear campaign aren't related to "linux manuals pages"--it is directed at an audience that would unquestionably infer that their messages were being "read" by a person.

    It's a disingenuous lie to say they're being "read" by a person because they aren't. It is even more disingenuous because what Google is doing is "parsing" the messages, not reading them, and achieves galactic levels of hypocrisy when you realize Microsoft's cloud services parse your email too.

  • Gee, another *child* responds to the European. For your information, *kiddie*, that didn't used to happen on broadcast TV or radio 30 years or so ago here in the US, either.


I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them. -- Isaac Asimov