We told you in April that Yahoo will retire Yahoo Mail Classic in the beginning of June 2013 forcing users to use the new Yahoo! Mail with no option whatsoever to go back. If that is not bad enough already, the company announced that it will start to scan user emails to display contextual-based advertising to its users.
The scanning of emails is automated and works pretty much the same way as Google does on its Gmail service. Mails are scanned for topics of interests, say cars, computers or babies, and ads are displayed to you based on those keywords.
If you are using Yahoo Mail and dislike this, you are left with little options. While it is possible to opt-out of interest-based and contextual advertisement, it is not clear if Yahoo will not scan your emails if you do.
Visit the Ad Interest Manager on the Yahoo! Privacy website. Here you find the interest categories that you are currently assigned to and the status of the interest-based ads feature.
You can turn off interest-based advertisement completely with a click on the opt out button on the page, or turn off select interest categories instead.
When you do, you will not receive any personalized advertisement on Yahoo, or only personalized ads based on the categories that you have left turned on. Advertisement will however still be displayed.
What if you do not want your emails scanned at all?
Both Gmail and Yahoo! Mail users have no opt-out option to prevent the scanning of their emails by the service. It is not clear if emails will get scanned by the service even if you are using a desktop email client or another email provider that supports IMAP.
Yahoo! Mail users who do not want to use the new interface have little options. Yahoo! suggests to connect to the service using IMAP instead. You can use a desktop client like Thunderbird for example to do so. Here are the important parameters that you may need:
The only other option that Yahoo! suggests is to close the account.
Yahoo! does what Google has been doing for a long time and users who condemn the company for it should condemn Google at the same time for it. If you do not want your emails scanned, you do need to switch to a provider who does not. There is however no guarantee that the new provider won't implement a similar feature in the future.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.