Yahoo Admits it Scan Your Emails and Sells the Data it Reaps
Quite a while ago, Gmail and Outlook.com stopped scanning users emails looking for data to sell to advertisers. But Yahoo, after already having 3 billion user accounts hacked in 2013, admits it scans Yahoo Mail users’ emails looking for data to sell. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal:
“The U.S. tech industry has largely declared it is off limits to scan emails for information to sell to advertisers. Yahoo still sees the practice as a potential gold mine…”
This move by Yahoo appears to us to be a desperate attempt to rescue the failing Yahoo Mail. It looks like an ill-advised, last-ditch attempt to avoid total collapse, and almost certainly one doomed to failure in this age of heightened awareness of personal privacy.
Google’s Gmail and Microsoft Outlook.com email no longer scan users emails looking for data to sell to advertisers, so it’s mysterious why Yahoo Mail has decided to continue scanning the content of users’ emails.
Scanning of Yahoo Mail users’ emails is not only done by computers, Yahoo is using human readers to scan emails looking for data to sell. According “The Verge”,
Yahoo claims only commercial emails are scanned, but they admit that that they have scanned “some” personal emails by mistake. We’re not apt to believe much of anything Yahoo says – considering they covered up the largest data breach in history.
Yahoo claims that running an Yahoo Mail is expensive and scanning emails for data to sell is a way for users to “pay” for the service. We’re not buying it. Gmail has twice as many users (44 % of all Web mail users use Gmail, while only 19% use Yahoo Mail) and it has stopped scanning users’ emails for data to sell. If Gmail can do it, so can Yahoo. One catch however. According to “The Verge,” many Yahoo Mail users use Yahoo Mail only as a catch-all for spam, while using Gmail, Outlook.com and other Web mail services for legitimate email.
If you have a Yahoo Mail account our advice is to move to Gmail or Outlook.com before Yahoo dreams up more schemes to breach your privacy. If you don’t want to leave Yahoo Mail at least tell Yahoo NOT to scan your emails. Although Yahoo has done a good job of hiding this setting, you can actually say no to Yahoo email scanning. This setting is not in settings though, you’ll have to visit this page to tell Yahoo not to scan your emails.