This from the Drudge Report suggests that Google’s proposed Gmail email service will use software to scan contents of email messages so as to insert ads keyed to words contained in the email (more coverage here). The example given by Drudge is that if the email indicates that the author writes that he/she has a stomach ache, Gmail might insert an ad for antacid (although that doesn’t make much sense as the recipient of the email ad isn’t sick). I’m interested in learning how this really will work.
However, the future possibilities are interesting. I write to my friend saying that I’m thinking of buying a Toyota and that triggers Honda sending me an ad (or I write to a friend complaining about my Toyota and Toyota sends me an ad).
Interesting: What is the nature of the relationship between Google and the email user? How would the email user’s consent to this practice affect privacy and other issues (i.e. attorney/client privilege)? I’m being facetious on that last bit as I don’t see this being a business app anytime soon.