In a bit of unexpected good news, Google announced last week that it will stop reading Gmail messages for the purpose of showings ads tailored to the content.
The New York Times reminds, however, that Google will still continue to read your messages for other purposes:
It will continue to scan Gmail to screen for potential spam or phishing attacks as well as offering suggestions for automated replies to email.
So the bots will continue to comb your email missives, but at least they’re seemingly doing this in the service of features that serve the user (instead of advertisers).
As always, the tricky trade-off of machine-learning services is that they only know what we feed them. But what are they eating? It’s us. How much are we willing to reveal, and in exchange for what services?