Microsoft Launches Don't Get Scroogled by Gmail Petition; Take Down Bamital Botnet

Outlook.com's Don't Get Scroogled by Gmail targets Google for going through personal email messages to sell ads. New Scroogled hits out at Play store privacy. Microsoft, Symantec takes down Bamital botnet that hijacks online searches.

Update 02/14 Today, on Valentine's Day, Microsoft aired another video of its "Scroogled," that attacks Google for reading users love letters as they are delivered to the recipients.

Microsoft wants you to know that Google goes through every Gmail that's sent or received, looking for keywords so they can target Gmail users with paid ads. And, that Outlook.com does not do such things and prioritizes your privacy.

"You wont see ads based on keywords from your personal email."

Gmail Man: Valentines Day Scroogled Video

In a new national level campaign dubbed Don't Get Scroogled by Gmail, Microsoft aim to educate users in the United States about Google's practise to sell advertisements through personal email messages.

The campaign encourages consumers to sign the petition at Scroogled.com and tell Google to stop going through their emails to sell ads. In addition, Microsoft urge users to switch to Outlook.com through the campaign.

Microsoft writes that Google even goes through emails from non-Gmail users to generate advertising income. "Gmail goes through all incoming email messages, from any email provider, and sells ads based on the content of those emails -- a practice that nearly 90 percent of Americans agree should end," Microsoft added.

Outlook.com encourages consumers to prioritize their privacy by switching to Outlook.com. "Unlike Gmail, Outlook.com doesn't go through the content of users' emails to show ads. Outlook.com hopes this campaign will help educate consumers about Google's email practices and promote Outlook.com's policy of prioritizing the privacy of its users' emails," Microsoft stated.

"There are currently six active class action lawsuits against Google, all alleging illegal eavesdropping or interception under federal and state wiretapping laws, related to Google's scanning of emails. Google does not even enable Gmail users to opt out of seeing ads based on the content of emails," the company adds.

Update 02/24: Continuing with its Scroogled campaign, Microsoft has now placed an anti-Gmail billboard right next to the Google headquarters--to make users aware of that Google's is violating users' privacy by looking into their emails to display relevant ads in Gmail.

"ldquo;Morning commuters near Google's headquarters in California's Silicon Valley are greeted by a new Outlook.com billboard educating Gmail users that Google goes through personal emails to sell ads," the Scroogled website reads.

Here is the screenshot of the anti-Gmail billboard:

Microsoft anti-Gmail billboard near Google headquarter

In other news, Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit and Symantec has taken down the dangerous "Bamital" botnet.

"This (Bamital) botnet hijacked people's search results and took them to potentially dangerous websites that could install malware onto their computer, steal their personal information, or fraudulently charge businesses for online advertisement clicks," Microsoft wrote.

Adding, the company wrote, that "in the last two years, more than eight million computers have been attacked by Bamital, and that the botnet's search hijacking and click fraud schemes affected many major search engines and browsers, including those offered by Microsoft, Yahoo and Google."

Microsoft and Symantec Take Down Bamital Botnet

Update: 04/10 Microsoft's latest "Scroogled" campaign, hit out at Google for sharing personal information of Play Store customers.

"Every time a user purchases an application from the Play Store, which runs on Android, Google shares the personal information about them with the app's developer," according to Microsoft.

The "Scroogled" campaign, which is costing Microsoft millions of dollars (un-official figure), ccording to Microsoft, 117,000 people have signed their e-petition protesting at Google for scanning email content to target ads.

And, over 4 million people have visited Scroogled.com, Microsoft adds. According to Alexa, Scroogled.com is receiving around 5,600 daily visitors.

Below is the video of Microsoft's latest Sroogled advert:

Update 04/18: Microsoft posted the Scroogled by Google Play video, stating,

"When you buy an Android app from the Google app store, they give the app maker your full name, email address and the neighborhood where you live. This occurs without clear warning every single time you buy an app. If you can't trust Google's app store, how can you trust them for anything?"; Microsoft explains.

The commercial below specifically shows that Google doesn't care about users' privacy so much, asking it to at least provide notifications whenever personal details might get shared.