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Yahoo Sells Data To Advertisers

Yahoo is scanning its users’ e-mail for data it can pass on to advertisers. The company scans more than 200 million Yahoo Mail inboxes for information about what people have bought, such as receipts from department stores or automotive loan companies, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Yahoo puts e-mails into different categories – for example if someone receives a flight confirmation, they might be put into a “frequent traveller” group. That person might then see advertising for hotel chains that might appear on other Web sites. 

AOL also scans e-mails in this way, the WSJ said. Data are aggregated and anonymised, so advertisers wouldn’t have access to an individual’s information.

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