Technology

Yahoo! Begins Scanning Users' Private Emails

| by Michael Allen
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Beginning this week, Yahoo! is ending Mail Classic and requiring its users to switch to a new version of Mail, which will scan emails to “deliver product features, relevant advertising, and abuse protection."

Users are allowed to opt out of the content-related ads, but will still have their email content scanned by Yahoo!

According to TechCrunch.com, the new version of Yahoo! Mail began in December 2012, but back then there was no mention of the new terms of service and privacy policy.

On a Help center page entitled “Do I have to upgrade to the new Yahoo! Mail?” Yahoo! states:

Beginning the week of June 3, 2013, older versions of Yahoo! Mail (including Yahoo! Mail Classic) will no longer be available. After that, you can access your Yahoo! Mail only if you upgrade to the new version. When you upgrade, you will be accepting our Communications Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. This includes the acceptance of automated content scanning and analyzing of your communications content.

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When you upgrade, you will be accepting our Communications Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. This includes the acceptance of automated content scanning and analyzing of your communications content, which Yahoo! uses to deliver product features, relevant advertising, and abuse protection.

People who do not want Yahoo! scanning their private emails are encouraged to find a new mail system and advised to download their mail to another IMAP client.

Yahoo! is scanning emails for ad content targeting, which is similar to what Google does on Gmail, but the scanning policy is raising privacy issues as well.

According to StartPage.com:

This means any message that Yahoo’s algorithms find disturbing could flag a user as a bully, a threat, or worse. At the same time, Yahoo can now openly troll through email for personal information that it can share or hold onto indefinitely.

Sources: StartPage.com, TechCrunch.com, Yahoo!