Google Can Read Your Emailed Bills and Remind You to Pay Up

Google GOOGL -2.74% already scans users’ Gmail email accounts to show more relevant ads. Now the Internet giant is scouring emails for bills.

The company said Tuesday that its Google Search mobile app can now remind users when bills are due by spotting emailed bills in their Gmail accounts and automatically reading the important details.

Users can tap the microphone icon in the app and ask “Show me my bills” or “My bills due this week,” and it will show upcoming bills, how much is owed, as well as a summary of past bills.

This is an extension of the Google Now personal assistant technology, which tries to anticipate users’ needs and sends useful information to them before they ask for it. Google already scans users’ email accounts for flight information, hotel reservations and packages that may be delivered soon from online order confirmations.

These features are available to users of Google’s search app who have turned on the Google Now feature and given Google permission to access information from their Gmail accounts.

But the fact that Google is reading your bills via email may unnerve some users and worry privacy advocates. This has happened in the past when Google rolls out new features like this—and the reaction was especially strong when the company first announced its method of mining Gmail for advertising.

Read the Full Article: Source – Wall Street Journal

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