The company has used Facebook and Twitter aggressively to tell its customers and followers that they are being “scroogled” because Google “reads” the data in its Gmail service to tailor ads based on its users’ preferences.
The petition reads in part: “Google earns money by violating your privacy. They go through every word of your personal Gmail so they can target you with ads. Every word of every email. Even the most private ones. Do you feel violated yet?” And it goes on to tout Microsoft’s own email service: “At Outlook, we prioritize your privacy. But even if you don’t use Gmail, Google will still go through emails you send to someone who does in order to sell ads. There is absolutely no way to opt out — whether you’re a Gmail user or not.”
Now, Microsoft’s petition and social media campaign has Care2 considering changing its terms of service to prevent businesses from using its website for commercial purposes.
Technically, no one at Google is reading through any individual’s email. And a quick search at Care2 confirms Microsoft’s petition has spawned similar petitions aimed at getting Microsoft to stop being disingenuous.
This is one social media campaign that might just backfire…