Google Tells Users It Scans Their Email As Microsoft Puts “Scroogled” To Bed

gmail inbox tabs Google updated its terms of service (TOS) yesterday to make more explicit the fact that it scans Gmail for the purpose of matching email content with ads. The relevant part of the updated TOS reads: Our automated systems analyze your content (including emails) to provide you personally relevant product features, such as customized search results, tailored advertising, and spam and malware detection. This analysis occurs as the content is sent, received, and when it is stored. Google has been sued for the practice as an alleged violation of the Federal Wiretap Act. The case survived Google' [...]


UK Watchdog Clears Microsoft’s Scroogled-Style Radio Ad Against False Advertising Claims

msft-outlook-privacy The UK's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has cleared a radio ad attacking Google's privacy practices against complaints that it amounted to false advertising. In the decision announced yesterday, the ASA rejected two complaints about an ad promoting Microsoft's Outlook email that said it -- unlike Google's Gmail service -- doesn't scan the contents of emails to sell ads. The radio ad begins with a voice speaking in Pig-latin, followed by a narrator who says "Pig Latin may be hard to understand, but you probably need it if you use Gmail, because Gmail scans every word of your e-mail [...]


How Microsoft Scroogled Itself As The Defender Of Email Privacy Over Google

scroogled-store-mug-featured For just over a year, Microsoft has been attacking Google over email privacy. Consumers are getting "Scroogled" by a Google that doesn't respect privacy, it has said. Microsoft can now retire that Scroogled campaign. After violating the privacy of a third-party's email account, Microsoft's not in a position to be taking the high-road, any longer. The Privacy Invasion This week, a case against a former Microsoft employee made the news. The employee is accused of passing trade secrets -- software code and other information about Windows -- to an unidentified blogger. Some argue he (we do know [...]


As Yahoo Begins Scanning Email To Target Ads, Is It Next On Microsoft’s “Scroogled” List?

yahoo-billboard-featured Did you know Yahoo scans email to do contextual ad targeting similar to the way Google does for Gmail? That wasn't on my radar, but it is now, as the company is ending older versions of Yahoo Mail and forcing everyone to use the latest version, where terms of service allow for this type of targeting. Yahoo's Terms Allow Email Scan & Targeting The folks at rival StartMail (which is not yet live) sent up the red flag. We got an email highlighting the change. From StartMail's release: As of June 1, all Yahoo email users are required to upgrade to the company's newest platform, which allow [...]


Microsoft Calls On “SNL” Alum Schneider To Bash Google Docs

MSFT Office logo In a new series of ads, Microsoft is trying to cast doubt on the reliability and productivity of Google Docs. The spots featuring Saturday Night Live alum Rob Schneider (and in one case, retired baseball great Pete Rose) argue that Google Docs is too much of a "risk" and "not worth the gamble." Of the two ads posted below, the basketball-themed spot is much better, although still heavy handed. In a blog post Microsoft compares the experience of opening an Office doc in a Microsoft web app vs. on Google Docs. The company argues that Google Docs creates uncertainty and unpredictabi [...]


Outlook.com VersaTile Ads Debut

outlook-logo Microsoft has launched a new ad format for its Outlook.com email service called VersaTiles. The ads appear in the right rail of the email service and are designed to be interactive. The video below from Microsoft shows how the ads work: [youtube]http://youtu.be/QwYgz3THJTM[/youtube] As you can see from the video, the ads require user interaction to get the full ad experience. There are three ad states. The default state, shown at log-in, can feature an advertiser's logo (like the Duracell example in the video above) and ad text. Hover state allows users to see more information and ima [...]


The Rise & Fall Of Microsoft’s “Scroogled” Petition Against Gmail

scroogled logo Microsoft has decided it no longer needs to run attack ads on TV, in print and through social media to push its "Scroogled" message against Google's Gmail service. "Everyday Americans" apparently have gotten the word. If so, that's not being reflected in signatures to the Microsoft-backed petition against Gmail. At First, The Petition To Nowhere Last month, I covered how after the first week of its existence, Microsoft's petition was seeing a drop-off in signatures. My story, Microsoft’s “Scroogled” Campaign Against Gmail Wins 0.002% Of Users, has the background. Here's the key cha [...]


Microsoft’s “Scroogled” Campaign Against Gmail Wins 0.002% Of Users

Scroogled It's been a week since Microsoft went on the attack against Gmail, launching its "Scroogled" campaign portraying Gmail as a privacy monster that reads your emails for ad targeting purposes. How's that been working out? To date, the Microsoft-backed petition against Gmail's practices has gained about over 6,000 signatures -- equal to about 0.002% of Gmail's user base. The Petition To Nowhere At the Scroogled site, Microsoft invites people to sign an online petition. In the week it has been up, it's gathered about 5,600 signatures: That's hardly an overwhelming response, especially consider [...]


Microsoft Attacks Gmail Over Privacy In Latest “Scroogled” Campaign

msft-email-privacy-featured If at first you don't succeed, get negative once again, seems to be the game plan at Microsoft. Having attacked Google Shopping with a "Scroogled" campaign last November, Microsoft is back again. This time it goes after Gmail as an evil service that invades your email privacy, armed with polling data showing consumer concern -- and perhaps one valid point about an easier opt-out. The Microsoft Survey & Consumer Disapproval Microsoft commissioned a survey of over 1,006 adults in the US from Feb. 1-4, asking about email services that target ads based on the content of your email. You kno [...]


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