All three Yahoo! mail users are being warned of privacy invasion

12 July 2011

yahoo_logoDo 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.

TOPICS:   Technology   Travel   Privacy   Scams


  • Fom G.
    Yahoo Mail. Wish I could ditch that awful excuse for a mail service, but it is required for access to yahoo groups which a number of community groups use for organising. Fowarding mail, psh no way. Pop access, money please, ad filled awful interface. Sure you want that. Needs to be fired out of a cannon and into the sun, and if possible strapped to a thermonuclear device.
  • me
    You mean they scan your email to send you adverts???? OUTRAGE! I'm moving to Gmail where they don't.....oh wait...
  • StuPid
    Just use an adblocker in Firefox and no more annoying ads. We pay a price for free webmail and adverts are it - the options aren't all that plentiful, other than setting up your own and paying for it.
  • Bacon
    I've used Yahoo mail since 1997 and I haven't had a single problem with them. I can forward emails and have Pop access and haven't paid for it :D
  • Emma
    Yeah I have been using the same yahoo email since the FIRST day I ever used the internet, must have been in 1995!
  • maxtweenie
    I set my old talk21 (now yahoo!) account up via my first ever Sky box in about 1993. (Remember those big blue Sky keyboard things that doubled as a Sky remote?)
  • kv
    I've had mine for 6 years now, don't know how I could go without any other
  • MrRobin
    I've used Yahoo! Mail for about 8 years... don't have any problems with them except that they keep changing the webmail interface which is annoyoing. i really don't like the new one (even before I read trhis article) If they force me to use it I will probably leave for another mail provider
  • crap
    gmail do the same you penis
  • Gb
    If you change your account to be a Yahoo Asia one you get free forwarding.
  • Peter T.
    Maxtweenie's talk of setting up an email address on a Sky box in 1993 is particularly impressive, seeing as it was only possible on a digital Sky box, not analogue. Sky Digital was launched in 1998. Digital testing didn't properly start until 1996.

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