Yahoo forces mail update (but you can opt out of ad targeting)

by Suzanne Choney /  / Updated 
New Yahoo email
Yahoo introduced its email makeover in December.Yahoo

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Yahoo made its email revamp optional when it was unveiled last year, but starting this week, the new look is mandatory, and it brings targeted ads to your inbox. Like Google has long done in Gmail, by default, your Yahoo emails will be screened for the purpose of bringing you ads that relate to keywords in your correspondence.

For example, if you are emailing with a friend about "fishing," you might expect to see ads for fishing gear. Mentioning a new smartphone that you're considering might trigger ads from wireless carriers.

Although the email filtering is active by default, you can opt-out of targeted ads at the Ad Interest Manager page. (Google/Gmail users, you may not realize that you, too, can opt out of ad tracking in Gmail and YouTube by using this control panel.)

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer wrote about the new look when it was introduced last December, saying it makes "your inbox more intuitive and easier to navigate." The revamp was not mandatory until now. Yahoo sent a email to users of "Yahoo Classic" about the policy change.

"When you upgrade, you will be accepting our Communications Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. This includes the acceptance of automated content scanning and analyzing of your communications content, which Yahoo! uses to deliver product features, relevant advertising, and abuse protection," reads a passage from a FAQ page on the change.

If you don't want to use the new Yahoo Mail at all, but want to keep your account active, you can download Yahoo Mail via a different email program, such as Outlook, Mac Mail or via your mobile phone. (Instructions for setting up those options here.)

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