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Rogers Email Customers Complain About Yahoo Ad Targeting Policy

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Rogers internet customers who use the company’s free @Rogers.com email addresses have raised new concerns over privacy and ad targeting, as the these accounts are provided by partner Yahoo.

According to Christine Dobby from The Globe and Mail, Rogers outsourced its email for customers to Yahoo years ago, but now that the latter is under Oath–the brand created by parent company Verizon after it merged Yahoo with AOL–some customers have raised concerns over recent pop-ups informing about new ad targeting terms.

Specific wording in new terms of service say Oath will analyze “content and information” from Rogers users and their email accounts, with photos and attachments as fair game. The reasoning is so Oath can “deliver, personalize and develop relevant features, content, advertising and services.”

Rogers email users were told they had to agree to these new terms to continue to use Oath services. In 2013, Yahoo delivered a similar message to users about analyzing emails for ad targeting, but this time around users are more aware of their privacy rights, in light of Facebook and their involvement in the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

One Rogers Internet customers told The Globe “My concern is more about my data being fodder for behaviour manipulation, as we’ve seen with Cambridge Analytica.” Customers complaining argue since they pay Rogers for internet already, there’s no need for their emails to be monetized by Yahoo.

Rogers told The Globe in a statement, “Many of our Rogers internet customers have chosen to use the optional Yahoo e-mail service available to them,” adding “We encourage customers who have any concerns to adjust their customer preferences and settings in their Yahoo account.”

Oath says users can opt out of the policy which scans email for targeted ads, with a spokesperson saying their new unified privacy policy “is a key stepping stone toward creating what’s next for our consumers while empowering them with transparency and controls over how and when their data is used.”

If you’re using a free email address from your internet provider, you may be labelled as a technology dinosaur. A third party email address from Gmail or Microsoft may better serve your needs (Gmail similarly scans your email for ad targeting though), so if you ever switch to a different internet service provider, you won’t lose your emails and have to deal with switching addresses.

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