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Microsoft Tells Gmail Users They're Being 'Scroogled'

By - Source: MarketingLand | B 48 comments

Microsoft is back to warning users away from Google.

Back in November, Microsoft launched an aggressive marketing campaign attacking Google's credibility with regard to providing product search results. Titled, "Don't Get Scroogled," the ad explained that product search results are presented by Google not just by relevance, but are also impacted such as payments by merchants. Now the company is bringing back the 'Scoogled' campaign. This time, however, the company is targeting Gmail.

 

MarketingLand reports that Microsoft's latest Scroogled stunt involves a survey that was given to over 1,000 adults between February 1 and February 4. The survey in question asked respondents how they felt about their email provider scanning the contents of their email in order to provide them with targeted ads. For those not aware, Google does this. 

"Google goes through every Gmail that’s sent or received, looking for keywords so they can target Gmail users with paid ads," Microsoft writes on Scroogled.com. "And there’s no way to opt out of this invasion of your privacy," the company says, adding, "Outlook.com is different—we don’t go through your email to sell ads."

Microsoft goes on to say that a user's email is nobody's else business but that Google doesn't feel that way.

"Even if you’re not a Gmail user, Google still goes through your personal email sent to Gmail and uses the content to sell ads," Redmond says, again, encouraging users to try Outlook.

This campaign is online at scroogled.com but Microsoft is also planning print ads in newspapers.

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Top Comments
  • 34 Hide
    kj3639 , February 7, 2013 9:34 PM
    I'm being Scroogled?! Well, I'm just going to hop on over to Bing and... nevermind.
  • 27 Hide
    A Bad Day , February 7, 2013 9:40 PM
    CheesevillageHonestly, a computer doesn't understand what your emails say. It can't not draw conclusions about your personal life. If just shows an ad when prompted.


    If a large number of web traffic from your account is related to porn, then it's quite likely that an algorithm will pick it up and respond accordingly.

    In fact, Target's consumer algorithm predicted a teenager girl's pregnancy, before her father did: http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2012/02/16/how-target-figured-out-a-teen-girl-was-pregnant-before-her-father-did/
  • 20 Hide
    Cheesevillage , February 7, 2013 9:35 PM
    Just think. Microsoft had all those hotmail/MSN users so long ago and did nothing good with them.

    They're just jealous!

    Honestly, a computer doesn't understand what your emails say. It can't not draw conclusions about your personal life. If just shows an ad when prompted.

    This is like bad politics.


Other Comments
  • 34 Hide
    kj3639 , February 7, 2013 9:34 PM
    I'm being Scroogled?! Well, I'm just going to hop on over to Bing and... nevermind.
  • 20 Hide
    Cheesevillage , February 7, 2013 9:35 PM
    Just think. Microsoft had all those hotmail/MSN users so long ago and did nothing good with them.

    They're just jealous!

    Honestly, a computer doesn't understand what your emails say. It can't not draw conclusions about your personal life. If just shows an ad when prompted.

    This is like bad politics.


  • 27 Hide
    A Bad Day , February 7, 2013 9:40 PM
    CheesevillageHonestly, a computer doesn't understand what your emails say. It can't not draw conclusions about your personal life. If just shows an ad when prompted.


    If a large number of web traffic from your account is related to porn, then it's quite likely that an algorithm will pick it up and respond accordingly.

    In fact, Target's consumer algorithm predicted a teenager girl's pregnancy, before her father did: http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2012/02/16/how-target-figured-out-a-teen-girl-was-pregnant-before-her-father-did/
  • 15 Hide
    A Bad Day , February 7, 2013 9:42 PM
    EDIT: You can also gleam what products the account user prefer based on the email account's activity. An account with large number of college application or scholarship stuff indicates that the user is heading to college soon. An account with Tom's Hardware or Anandtech email coming in regularly may indicate that the user is a savvy tech user.
  • 1 Hide
    internetlad , February 7, 2013 9:46 PM
    I think age is going to play a big role in how people view this. Honestly i'm 24 and it's become the norm that not only is snooping like this acceptable, it's actually encouraged for people to give away information via microupdates on twitter, facebook, et al.

    it's like those old IBM ads said, something to the effect of "there's so much information floating around untapped, if we could analyze it we can learn much"

    they're just learning what to sell us, is all.
  • 14 Hide
    getochkn , February 7, 2013 9:46 PM
    "This campaign is online at scroogled.com but Google is also planning print ads in newspapers."

    Don't you mean Microsfot is planning print ad's in newspapers?
  • 12 Hide
    emike09 , February 7, 2013 9:48 PM
    "Outlook.com is different—we don’t go through your email to sell ads." - Perhaps not, but that definitely doesn't say that they don't go through your email. Doesn't instill any trust in MS.
  • -9 Hide
    math1337 , February 7, 2013 9:50 PM
    Unfortunately, outlook/hotmail is just bad. As it is now, gmail is so much better that it's worth the invasion of privacy.
  • 7 Hide
    esrever , February 7, 2013 9:50 PM
    CheesevillageHonestly, a computer doesn't understand what your emails say. It can't not draw conclusions about your personal life.

    It can and does. Keywords can be linked and related words can be generated. Same way youtube's recommended videos work. And if Google really wanted to, they can probably pin point exactly who you are, where you are likely to work, where you are likely to live, your facebook, age, ect, ect. Software algorithms can do all that if you send out and receive enough emails.

  • 3 Hide
    IAmVortigaunt , February 7, 2013 9:57 PM
    math1337Unfortunately, outlook/hotmail is just bad. As it is now, gmail is so much better that it's worth the invasion of privacy.


    Based on what? Have you used it? What don't you like about it?
  • 5 Hide
    Anonymous , February 7, 2013 9:58 PM
    @Cheesevillage Yes, but that data is stored somewhere and stored data can be viewed by humans, hacked, given to government agencies, etc. I'm sure this data stays even after the email is deleted too...
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 7, 2013 10:00 PM
    M$, is doing the same thing with its METRO UI/ADWARE OS, kettle to pot: You're doing it too! It just more ad revenue from tallywacker enhancement on the redmond side of the equation!
  • 6 Hide
    IAmVortigaunt , February 7, 2013 10:01 PM
    M$SpinOMaticM$, is doing the same thing with its METRO UI/ADWARE OS, kettle to pot: You're doing it too! It just more ad revenue from tallywacker enhancement on the redmond side of the equation!


    What are you talking about?
  • 1 Hide
    twisted politiks , February 7, 2013 10:15 PM
    esreverIt can and does. Keywords can be linked and related words can be generated. Same way youtube's recommended videos work. And if Google really wanted to, they can probably pin point exactly who you are, where you are likely to work, where you are likely to live, your facebook, age, ect, ect. Software algorithms can do all that if you send out and receive enough emails.


    Lol of course it can find out who you are and where you live, that information is plastered all over e-bills and e-statements. While information like that could be dangerous in the wrong hands, what this Microsoft is "warning" you about is Google using certain information to advertise to you. Apples and oranges.
  • -5 Hide
    AzureFlash , February 7, 2013 10:20 PM
    getochkn"This campaign is online at scroogled.com but Google is also planning print ads in newspapers."Don't you mean Microsfot is planning print ad's in newspapers?


    No, Google is going to ironically advertise for Hotmail... or Live Mail... or Outlook... or... what the hell are they calling it now?
  • 5 Hide
    Soda-88 , February 7, 2013 10:21 PM
    math1337Unfortunately, outlook/hotmail is just bad. As it is now, gmail is so much better that it's worth the invasion of privacy.

    That's funny because my opinion is polar opposite to yours.
    Just taking a look at Gmail interface makes me sick in comparison to Outlook's (and no, I'm not interested in customizing Gmail's interface to my liking, before you suggest it).
  • 7 Hide
    casualcolors , February 7, 2013 10:33 PM
    Microsoft may be petty, but they do have a point. I'm sure most Gmail users are not aware that this goes on, either.
  • 1 Hide
    dudewitbow , February 7, 2013 11:05 PM
    casualcolorsMicrosoft may be petty, but they do have a point. I'm sure most Gmail users are not aware that this goes on, either.

    I'm fully aware of it mostly. As long as I am not forced to see it(gmail users have the right to turn off email ads through their settings) and someone someone buys information about what i like and such, the more collective information, new products can be generated. Whats to say that going onto this site with like chrome or something, you are basically giving google information that you are into computers and technology. it isn't anything new, data mining is probably the current most lucrative market.
  • 5 Hide
    ericburnby , February 7, 2013 11:25 PM
    Surprised at how many people think this is OK.

    Yet last year when it was discovered that Apple was tracking your location (not you personally, but the device) people on Tom's were livid that Apple would stoop so low and invade your privacy.

    Hypocrites much?
  • -2 Hide
    MaXimus421 , February 7, 2013 11:26 PM
    I kind of understood from the get go that using any email provider was going to come with privacy snooping. I have known this since the existence of email. It sucks, but it does and forever will happen.

    MS does the same exact thing, as far as I know.
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