Google: We scan all Gmail messages - BestCyberNews: Online News Presenter in the present world

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Google: We scan all Gmail messages

Few will likely find themselves reading the fine print added to the new terms of service issued by Google this week, but the updated version clarifies to customers once and for all that the contents of messages going in and out of Gmail are being scanned.

On Monday, the search engine site-turned-Silicon Valley giant updated the terms of service that its hundreds of millions of Gmail users must agree to in order to use the immensely popular free email service. 

But while the latest TOS clause doesn’t exactly reveal any new practices being performed by Google or conditions that’d catch its customers by surprise, the company is now being upfront about its controversial practice of skimming content in order to, as they put it, provide users with “relevant product features, such as customized search results, tailored advertising and spam and malware detection. “

“When you upload, submit, store, send or receive content to or through our Services, you give Google (and those we work with) a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works (such as those resulting from translations, adaptations or other changes we make so that your content works better with our Services), communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content,” the updated clause continues. “The rights you grant in this license are for the limited purpose of operating, promoting, and improving our Services, and to develop new ones.”

Google has published the fine print online, and has also made available a version that compares the latest TOS with its previous terms, last updated on November 11, 2013.

"We want our policies to be simple and easy for users to understand,” Google said in a statement this week. “These changes will give people even greater clarity and are based on feedback we've received over the last few months.”

Although Google doesn’t elaborate any further in their statement, the feedback that they allude to is likely related to a federal court case that has been centered on complaints stemming from the scanning process in question. Google has previously argued that it scans data sent over its servers using fully automated processes that involve no human review of any kind.

And as RT reported last year, Google has adamantly defended this practice by saying data handed from any person to a third-party is no longer private.

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