I Am Not Sure Why Rogers Customers Are Shocked That Their E-Mail Is Being Read By Yahoo

Over the weekend a number of stories appeared about a change to the terms of service to Yahoo e-mail. Yahoo, which you can also call Oath as that’s the name given to it by Verizon who bought the company last year said in their new terms of services that they analyze “‘content and information,’ including e-mails, photos and attachments ‘when you use our services.’”

In other words, they read your e-mail.

Now how does Rogers fit into this? Rogers e-mail services are powered by Yahoo/Oath. Thus when users got notified about this change to their terms of service, it led to stories like this one and this one being published.

The thing is, I am not sure why anyone is surprised here. After all Google’s Gmail e-mail service used to read your e-mail to serve up targeted ads. Until they dialed that back  to read your e-mail for other reasons. So one could safely assume that others that offer up e-mail services were doing the same thing.

In short, if you use a third party e-mail service, anyone, or anything could be reading your email. Thus you should have no expectation of privacy. Ever. If you want privacy when it comes to you’re e-mail, you can always do what I do which is build and run your own e-mail server and host it out of a data center. That way you control the e-mail that you receive and that you send. What happens to it after you click send though is completely out of your control. Which means that you’re only marginally ahead in the privacy game.

One other thing. There’s a bunch of people who are mad at Rogers for this. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Rogers is just collateral damage in this as they are essentially a customer of Yahoo/Oath. So while there are things that Rogers does that deserve the ire of their customers, this isn’t one of them.

Finally the story written by Ellen Roseman of Toronto Star which is linked to above has this in it:

Rogers Yahoo email customers need to press for more information. What is the deadline for agreeing to Oath’s updated terms? Will they be cut off without access if they don’t agree? Can they get help moving all their emails to another provider?

Those are fair questions to ask. Hopefully Rogers and Yahoo/Oath answers those questions and does so quickly. Though I suspect that I can answer question three for them. I cannot see a scenario where Rogers or Yahoo/Oath would help a customer move their e-mail to another provider. There’s no value in doing so. But the other two Rogers and Yahoo/Oath can and should answer.

UPDATE: I just had a chat with a Rogers Tech Support rep who informed me that if users don’t agree to the new terms of service, they can’t use Rogers e-mail. Also, users who have contacted me directly have said the same thing.

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3 Responses to “I Am Not Sure Why Rogers Customers Are Shocked That Their E-Mail Is Being Read By Yahoo”

  1. […] I wrote about the fact that Yahoo/Oath have changed their terms of service for their e-mail offering, and […]

  2. […] was asked by a reader if I could distill down the change in the terms of service that Rogers e-mail users are upset about. But to be clear, the change in the terms of service really come from Yahoo/Oath who provide e-mail […]

  3. […] of the change of the terms of service of the Yahoo/Oath e-mail platform that Rogers uses, I have been asked how can users move off that platform because of the privacy […]

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