Google Wants To Use Your E-Mail Address To Provide Targeted Advertising

If you’re a Gmail user, or one of the millions of workers whose employer now uses Gmail as their email platform, you could soon be seeing new ads targeted directly at you in your Google search results.

This is according to the Wall Street Journal, which reports that Google is developing an ad service that would match up advertisers’ databases of customers’ e-mail addresses with e-mail address info for Google users.

The Journal gives the example of a retailer who provides Google e-mail info for customers who recently purchased printers at the store. The store could then pay to advertise printer ink refills directly to these customers when they search for the product on Google. The advertiser could can also use other info available about these users — age, gender, prior purchases — to carve out specific niches.

Facebook already has a service, dubbed “custom audiences,” like this for advertisers. It matches up customer info from retailers and others with data that Facebook has on its users to put targeted ads in their newsfeeds.

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