Most of us know by now that pretty much anything we do online is being watched.
“Whether you have a Facebook, an Instagram, anything you post on there, it’s not extremely private.”
But when Google recently announced to its Gmail users that it would stop looking at their emails in an effort to target ads, it led many customers to say, “Wait, you were looking through our emails too?”
“Nope, didn’t know that.”
“I don’t like that. That’s invading my privacy.”
Aleksander Yampolskiy is CEO of Security Scorecard.
“It’s not actually somebody sitting and reading your emails, but it feeds into these giant algorithms. And they analyze different types of keywords, and they analyze what type of sentence structure you use,” Yampolskiy said.
He said Google’s decision to stop scanning emails is a smart one, likely based on growing concerns over internet privacy brought on by widespread and highly-publicized hacking scandals.
“I think there’s an increased scrutiny from legislators. There’ve been court cases where some of those companies have been considered guilty after the court system examined, really, the Terms of Service and realized that many customers don’t understand what’s in them,” Yampolskiy said.
Now that’s not to say that Google’s days of watching you are over entirely. It said it still plans to get your info through your search and YouTube histories.
And while there are other ways to make sure that doesn’t happen as much -- Google Chrome, for example, has an “incognito” mode where you can browse the web in private – the best defense is knowing when it comes to the internet, there’s no such thing as privacy.
“There should be, but there isn’t. Not in this time and age.”