A few days back, we heard Stefan Weitz, Microsoft senior director of online services say that their Scroogled campaign will be soon over. However, the company’s official statement says a different story.
According to the official statements made to Techcrunch, the company will continue with its scroogled campaign. The company officials stating that Stefan Weitz’s words were not true declared “Scroogled will go on as long as Google keeps Scroogling people”.
Infact, the campaign was so successful that they are preparing for the next chapter. This could mean more problems for Google as they already are facing much criticism from users all over the world.
The first phase of the campaign started last year, when Microsoft urged gmail customers to shift to outlook over privacy concerns. According to the company, Google scanned the emails of their users to generate relevant ads, which was a violation of the user’s privacy. Microsoft also added that their outlook mail respected the user’s privacy and never snooped in to their user’s emails to display targeted ads.
In the second part of the campaign, Microsoft started a website called as Scroogled.com and criticized the shopping search results on Google. Microsoft claims that Google accepts payments from such companies to display their websites on the top page. Recently, they even started a TV ad, criticizing the shopping results on Google, however, officials have confirmed that they will no longer continue with the ad. But, this does not mean that the campaign is over. The officials have stressed that there will be another phase of the campaign and it will continue till Google does something about their privacy violation.
The petition against Google to stop snooping around emails on the Scroogled website has received a modest response, with over 115k people signing it. However, it is worth noting that this figure makes only about 0.03% of the number of Gmail users (425 million). Also, if you are concerned about your privacy, Google has given their users an option to disable this feature via options menu and they can even block a particular advertiser from their gmail account.
For many years, Gmail has been the best email platform in the industry and millions of people use it every day. Hence, I think Microsoft will have to do better than just criticizing Google’s privacy violations. Their outlook platform still has a lot of issues to be fixed and instead of bad mouthing Google; they must start working on improving their email client.