Thursday, July 28, 2011


Do you still use Yahoo! mail? Why? Don’t answer that. We don’t actually care. However, if you’re one of the scant few left that persist on using it because you can’t be bothered sorting out a better service, you might want to know about some snooping going on in your account.
Basically, Yahusers should be aware that a change in your terms and conditions means that all those mucky emails you’ve been writing to your bit on the side are being scanned by Yahoo! so they can tailor adverts to you.
Which! are, of course, outraged and have branded the move “a blatant intrusion of privacy”. They like being in the newspapers don’t they? “People should have the right to send messages without Yahoo! snooping through them,” said Sarah Kidner, the editor of Which? Computing.
Since June, the company has been shunting customers to a new system that will trawl through incoming and outgoing emails for keywords, which is pretty much the same as the system used in Google’s Gmail which no-one seems to care about.
Someone at Yahoo! says: “We think transparency is key because our business depends almost entirely on the trust of our users. We therefore ask users (via a pop-up notice) for consent to the extension of machine-scanning inbound and outbound emails to look for keywords and links to further protect you from spam, surface photos and in time, serve users with interest-based advertising.”
If you say ‘no’, then you can continue to use the old system… which is presumably not nearly as good as the new one.  So there you have it.