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Microsoft Tells Gmail Users They're Being 'Scroogled'

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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  • kj3639
    I'm being Scroogled?! Well, I'm just going to hop on over to Bing and... nevermind.
    Reply
  • Cheesevillage
    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.


    Reply
  • A Bad Day
    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/
    Reply
  • A Bad Day
    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.
    Reply
  • internetlad
    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.
    Reply
  • 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?
    Reply
  • emike09
    "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.
    Reply
  • math1337
    Unfortunately, outlook/hotmail is just bad. As it is now, gmail is so much better that it's worth the invasion of privacy.
    Reply
  • esrever
    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.

    Reply
  • IAmVortigaunt
    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?
    Reply