In this week’s Cyber Safe Community report, your free email service comes at a price and it is perfectly legal.
Is someone reading your emails? If you have a Yahoo or AOL mail address, the answer is yes.
The Wall Street Journal reports that their owner, Oath is scanning through your email, looking for data that it can sell to advertisers.
Oath says it only reads commercial emails, like those from retailers so it can create a personal profile of you. For example, if they see a lot of Delta Airlines tickets, they profile you as a frequent traveler and then target you with ads for suitcases and hotel rooms.
The reason is financial. Email services are expensive and if you want to use them for free, you have to fork over some personal data.
The practice is controversial but legal.
Yahoo and AOL email users can opt out.
By law, the Federal Trade Commission requires companies to disclose how they collect private data. But in Europe, companies must get consumers’ consent first.
Yahoo’s competitors, Google and Microsoft do not scan emails for advertising purposes.