Skip to comments.Is it right for Yahoo! to snoop on your emails?
Posted on 06/24/2011 11:13:17 PM PDT by LibWhacker
Yahoo! Mail plans to snoop on your emails. Accepting its updated T&Cs give it the right to read your messages and target relevant advertising. Would you be happy if your emails were analysed in this way?
Its eight in the evening, youre juggling a glass of wine and a sneaky fag in one hand, while emailing away with the other. Youre venting to your best friend about the latest slings and arrows of outrageous fortune to have befallen your life; secure in the knowledge that nobodys eavesdropping on your conversation.
Well, before you raise your glass in a congratulatory toast at this self recognition, you need to revisit that last comment, especially if Yahoo! Mail (Yahoo!) is your email service provider.
Why? Because Yahoo! Mail, Which? Computing has learned, is currently in the process of updating its terms and conditions to allow it to read and analyse its customers emails and messaging content.
Yahoo! Mails updated T&Cs
The worlds largest email provider has said that if you agree to its Additional Terms of Service (ATOS), youre giving it your express permission to scan and analyse the content of any electronic correspondence sent by your account.
Why is it scanning your emails? In short, to target relevant content and advertising this is something the email provider lets you opt-out of, but not the scanning itself.
To a certain extent we have no issue with this, if consent is being given freely. The only thing we would say is make sure you read the T&Cs, because if you dont youre in for a nasty shock. We do, however, have an issue with Section C. of the ATOS, which states:
By using the Services, you consent to allow our automated systems to scan and analyse all incoming and outgoing communications content sent and received from your account (such as Mail and Messenger content including instant messages and SMS messages).
If you consent to this ATOS and communicate with non-Yahoo! users using the Services, you are responsible for notifying those users about this feature.
In other words, its saying that it will go on to do the same with any emails sent to your inbox, even if these senders have not given their express consent for this to take place (as they may not use Yahoo! Mail).
Can senders really give consent?
Yahoo! also says its apparently down to you to notify senders that their emails are now being analysed, which implies that once this has taken place senders have given their consent. Obviously, we have concerns with this, our main one being whether its even possible to get consent vicariously?
Weve put a few of these questions to the Home Office and will update you as soon as we hear from it. In the meantime, if you object to Yahoo!s new terms, we suggest you switch to a different email provider.
Is there any web email that doesn’t do this?
Give up all pretense of privacy ye who enter here.
I assume that Yahoo and the rest have been doing this and have always done this and will always do this, then proceed from there.
Good question. At least Yahoo’s admitting it.
Not long ago, I received an invitation to a party. Google decorated it with several relevant ads and directions to the party location.
Gmail does also. I assume Hotmail does also. You want ad-free pay for it.
only IF you agree to the TOS...
but at least i don’t have gmail. Never heard of an e-mail which asks you for a for a phone number to verify who you are...
I do have MAIL.COM which is awesome, free and better than Yahoo! The drawback is that it is an AP product, so just bear with the Obama ass-kissing headlines like Yahoo.
I use yahoo, gmail, myway, lycos and hotmail as junk mail addresses when signing up for any web subscriptions, surveys, whatever. They collect all the crap and I use my real email (pop) for correspondence with friends.
Anyone know a free or low-cost alternative email provider that is 100% committed to user privacy?
I would hope hushmail doesn’t, but who knows..
I would try www.hushmail.com
They *seem* to be very privacy minded. But, can you really say they are? Maybe they’re a honeypot. It’s all a gamble.
Thanks for posting. Just sent to all the yahoo users on my list. This stinks... jeeesh. FYI: sbcglobal.net email is also Yahoo.
Apple will be offering free email without ads when they start the iCloud service in September.
It isn’t the ads .. it’s the intrusion of your privacy, reading emails.
Gmail has been doing this for ages.
The problem with encryption is so few people use it that it it’s almost certainly a red flag for multiple agencies.
Well, it sounds like Yahoo is going to add content-associated advertisements to your incoming email. If this is all, why not be specific about the warning, that this is how they support a free email service. Few users would complain if they knew why, and if they knew that Yahoo would not reveal anyone’s identity to any advertiser, and those still concerned would, as you suggest, encrypt the content (and presumably get a random advertisement each time).
Is there a simple, free way to do that or is it a paid deal?
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.