Though Yahoo was already scanning its users’ emails to maximize ad opportunities, doubling-down on the policy could raise eyebrows in a post-Cambridge Analytica world.
When you dig further into Oath’s policy about what it might do with your words, photos, and attachments, the company clarifies that it’s utilizing automated systems that help the company with security, research and providing targeted ads — and that those automated systems should strip out personally identifying information before letting any humans look at your data. But there are no explicit guarantees on that.
Notably, Google used to scan its Gmail messages for better ad targeting, though it stopped the practice in June of 2017.
There’s also this paragraph: (Please see original version to view image)
In other words, emails related to your banking and financial transactions appear to be equally in the crosshairs of Oath’s ad targeting engine.
There appears to be another big change for Yahoo users, too: Oath’s previous mutual arbitration clause and class-action waiver has been updated and extended across the company’s services to include Yahoo as well. What it means is if you don’t like what the company does with your data, you’ll have a hard time suing.
None of this is necessarily unexpected behavior for a big tech company in 2018, and our collective expectation of privacy may be smaller than ever today. But in in a post-Cambridge Analytica world, think twice before hitting that “OK” button.