Google Apps for Education users will no longer have their emails scanned for advertising purposes, according to an announcement from the company today.
Apps for Education is used by K-12 schools around the world, and it delivers free access to Google applications like Gmail and Drive. Around 30 million students, teachers, and administrators use the service today, according to Google.
While ads have always been disabled by default in Apps for Education, the ads were removed completely in Google Search last year for signed-in users, and it was still possible to enable ads within the main Administrator console. The feature is now being removed completely, though it will still be possible to display ads for those who had enabled the feature prior to this change.
Some have speculated that this move is a response to that student-led lawsuit that’s making its way through the U.S. court system. It’s well-known that Google mines emails in standard Gmail inboxes to server targeted ads, but this also included its Apps for Education suite, which muddied the waters a bit.
Google is also making similar changes to other Apps customers, which includes government, business, and legacy users of the old free version. Though details are unclear at this point, Google says it will “provide an update when the rollout is complete.”