The U.S. tech industry has largely declared it is off limits to scan emails for information to sell to advertisers. Yahoo still sees the practice as a potential gold mine.
Yahoo’s owner, the Oath unit of Verizon Communications Inc., has been pitching a service to advertisers that analyzes more than 200 million Yahoo Mail inboxes and the rich user data they contain, searching for clues about what products those users might buy, said people who have attended Oath’s presentations as well as current and former employees of the company.
The biggest news in this story is not that Verizon is a scummy company – but that 200 million people still use Yahoo’s email service.
It’s useful to have a free secondary address, even if just as a “recovery” address for the main one. I *certainly* wouldn’t use Yahoo! as my primary address, and I’ve long since killed off pretty much all the mail which was going there.
Chances are most of those users are dormant accounts, just used for collecting spam… That “rich” data will actually just be all the existing spam they’re receiving, which will compound the problem by creating the impression that more spam is somehow desirable.