Google email scan
Data from Gmail accounts for all Google Apps customers will no longer be scanned and collected for advertising purposesReuters

Google's reversal of its policy on scanning student emails will be extended to other app accounts including business and government Gmail inboxes.

Millions of students' email accounts were scanned by Google to target users for advertising in what Education Week claimed was a breach of US privacy law.

The terms of service originally read: "Our automated systems analyse your content (including emails) to provide you personally relevant product features, such as customised search results, tailored advertising, and spam and malware detection."

Privacy advocates had criticised the policy, particularly in relation to Google's Apps for Education (GAE) kit.

"It's harder for children to give consent than adults and even harder when the tools they are given to use are given to them by education departments and schools," Jim Killock, executive director of Open Rights Group, told IBTimes UK.

"Young people from the UK and Europe are being asked to sign up for US services without being told how they might be using and collecting their information."

In the face of protests, Google announced it would end the scanning of GAE accounts for targeted advertising.

"We've permanently removed all ads scanning in Gmail for Apps for Education, which means Google cannot collect or use student data in Apps for Education services for advertising purposes," Bram Bout, Google for Education director, said in a blogpost.

While other Gmail users will still have their accounts scanned, Google told TechCrunch that it would stop collecting and using data in Google Apps and services for advertising, including business and government.

Google has confirmed that it will issue an update when the new policy update is completed.