Google tells Reuters that the move is based on feedback from the "last few months" and should provide "even greater clarity" to customers. Both are true, although we'd note that few people read the terms of service for... well, anything. The new language may ultimately be more helpful in educating current account holders than giving concerned newcomers a heads-up.
Many Gmail users know that the service scans email looking for ad keywords, but some have been upset that Google hasn't spelled this out -- enough so that there are several privacy lawsuits underway. The company may have just headed off future trouble, though, by updating its terms of service to clearly state what's taking place. Read through the giant text and you'll see that the company now explicitly warns that "automated systems analyze your content" for the sake of ads, customization and security.
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