Yahoo Admits it Reads Your Emails and Sells the Data it Reaps

By | September 6, 2018
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Yahoo Admits it Scan Your Emails and Sells the Data it Reaps

Quite a while ago, Gmail and 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 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”,

“The process of reviewing these emails requires human readers as well as algorithm sorting. As we reported in April, Oath’s privacy policy allows it to read AOL and Yahoo emails to tailor ads, and that includes human readers, not just machines…”

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, and other Web mail services for legitimate email.

If you have a Yahoo Mail account our advice is to move to Gmail or 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.


7 thoughts on “Yahoo Admits it Reads Your Emails and Sells the Data it Reaps

  1. JonInOz

    Hi TC & EB,
    Of course our email….like mail is in the ability to write correct English (similar to sheep) does NOT HAVE an ‘s’ at the word end.
    When will people understand, mail is mail, it is mail, NOT M A I L S … a box full of envelopes in the tin at the end of the garden is NOT MAILS ….. mail is one or many mail messages.
    “””YOU”VE GOT MAIL***
    Why do you Ignore the correct English speech, the two of you are trying to set the world standard in education……yes TC,,,,,you admit so………..
    Please STOP producing information as though you are juveniles ………
    ………….. your intelligence
    C’mon TC with your words of wisdom, prove ourself!

    1. infoave Post author

      The quotes from “Wall Street Journal” and “The Verge” both say “emails”. This article about grammar also says that e-mails (with the “s”) is correct. Of course, now we have even done away with the hyphen.

      According to The Oxford Dictionary the word “emails” is correct. For instance, “I received 3 emails yesterday”. And it can also be correctly spelled emails or e-mails – with the hyphen. See this page.

      For your info this is from the “New York Times“:

      “The plural form of e-mail is, indeed, e-mails, even though there’s no corresponding plural of mail as mails. This mismatch has rankled seekers of grammatical consistency over the years, but it has nonetheless settled into standard usage.

      First some terminology. Nouns that can form plurals are called “count nouns.” Mail, historically, is what is known as a “mass noun” — a noun that can’t be enumerated and thus resists pluralization, much like mud and milk, patience and poppycock. Some nouns can be either count or mass, depending on the context. General Sherman used war as a mass noun when he said, “War is hell,” while Benjamin Franklin used it as a count noun when he said, “All wars are follies, very expensive and very mischievous ones.”

      Many mass nouns have spawned countable spinoffs over time. Coffee is usually an undifferentiated mass (“Get me some coffee”), but in modern use it can also be treated as a count noun denoting a cupful of the beverage (“Get me a coffee”) or a variety of the bean (“We serve the finest Arabica coffees”). The Stanford linguist Arnold Zwicky has dubbed this process ‘countification.’…”

      The article contains interesting information about Yahoo Mail. It is not about grammar; it’s about privacy or rather lack of privacy.

  2. Frank S

    Damn, I hate ‘grammar police’!! Unfortunately, grammar is no longer an art form nor an educational tool or subject. In the 21st century literacy is now officially D.E.A.D. Get over it and move on!!

  3. J,P.

    I think this “JoninOz” guy got off on the wrong side of his bed this morning. His response to TC and EB is totally out of line. I’m surprised that you both would even bother to respond to such uncalled for blither. Your kindness and integrity to the Jonin’s “problem” speaks volumes, which deserves much praise.

  4. Ron O

    Recently, I was exchanging email messages with a friend about meeting for breakfast when he and his wife would be in our area. He needed to wait until he had more information from his daughter before we could set a time and place. After a few days, Google or Gmail sent me a popup message saying it has been 3 days with no answer. I didn’t know if I should be pleased that Google was now my personal scheduling secretary or angry about them following my email.

  5. Lynn

    I also found a notation on an email (using my gmail account) that was a conversation that had gone back and forth between me and a friend.
    It stated that it had been two days and I had not replied.
    Is gmail now keeping track of of whether or not I reply to a personal message? Geez, kind of disappointing. They have to be snooping to be able to detect that.


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