Google Privacy

Google Gmail advertising, privacy and other considerations

I was using Gmail the other day and I noticed that the ads kicked in. I did not have ads on my account for a long time. They are not annoying or anything. They sit on the right side of the screen and they are related to the content of your emails. This caused some controversy when Google first said they would target ads based on email content because people did not want their messages scanned.

It does not bother me. I certainly want to protect my privacy but email is all sent in plain text unless you use PGP or some other encryption. The main this is to remember what to really keep in your email.  Email is not a storage system; it is a communication method.  As long as they do not profile me and then sell it.  I actually clicked on one of the advertising links too. It was not an accident. I noticed the ads and then one of them was for information on the Shinkansen so I went there. I was just thinking of looking for more information on the trains and this time I did not even have to search for it. I doubt I will be “using” the ads often but at least they are relevant and not disturbing. Yahoo’s ads are terrible and Hotmail’s are flashy. These are just text.

About The Author

Eric Vanderburg

Eric Vanderburg is an author, thought leader, and consultant. He serves as the Vice President of Cybersecurity at TCDI and Vice Chairman of the board at TechMin. He is best known for his insight on cybersecurity, privacy, data protection, and storage. Eric is a continual learner who has earned over 40 technology and security certifications. He has a strong desire to share technology insights with the community. Eric is the author of several books and he frequently writes articles for magazines, journals, and other publications.


  1. Seeing how non-intrusive the ads have become is totally fine with me. Using a FREE web mail service like Gmail should be expected to have a couple ads here and there. Google does provide one of the best services , so why not get a little back from it?

    1. I have been using Gmail for so many years now and I love it. They do an excellent job of filtering spam and their interface is very easy to navigate. I wish I could customize the tabs but I guess that is what categories are for.

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