Microsoft launches campaign against Gmail over privacy

Microsoft said it was running a national campaign and asked users to sign a petition

Microsoft has launched a campaign in the U.S. that targets Google's alleged practice of going through the contents of all Gmail messages to sell and target advertisements, raising again an old issue the Redmond, Washington, software giant has with the free email service.

The company late Wednesday cited a study which showed that 70 percent of consumers don't know that major email providers routinely engage in the practice of reading through their personal email to sell ads.

88 percent of people disapprove of the practice once they are informed, according to a GfK Roper study commissioned by Microsoft.

Unlike Gmail, Microsoft's Outlook.com doesn't go through the content of users' emails to show ads, it said.

The "Don't Get Scroogled by Gmail" campaign on Microsoft's Scroogled.com promotes Outlook.com as an alternative to Gmail. Microsoft previewed Outlook.com in July and said it would eventually replace its Hotmail email service.

Advertising keeps Google and many of the websites and services the company offers free of charge, Google said in an emailed statement on Wednesday. "No humans read your email or Google Account information in order to show you advertisements or related information. An automated algorithm -- similar to that used for features like Priority Inbox or spam filtering -- determines which ads are shown," it added.

Outlook.com is also calling on consumers to join a petition drive on Scroogled.com to tell Google to stop going through their users' email to sell ads, Microsoft said.

Microsoft sponsored Don't Get Scroogled activities will appear online and offline, demonstrating why consumers should be concerned, and helping them take action, Microsoft said. "This campaign is as much about protecting Outlook.com users from Gmail as it is about making sure Gmail users know what Google's doing," said Stefan Weitz, senior director of online services at Microsoft, in a statement.

The company has been critical of a settlement in January between the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and Google over the search giant's business practices and access to its standards-essential patents, calling it a "missed opportunity."

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MicrosoftinternetGooglesearch enginesMailInternet-based applications and services

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?