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Yahoo and AOL are analysing users’ emails, pictures and financial data

The owner of Yahoo and AOL, Verizon’s Oath, has updated its privacy policy for the two services and, considering the ongoing Facebook scandal, you might want to give the small print a read.

Essentially, it states that Yahoo and AOL users will have their emails, attachments, instant messages, photos and even financial details collected, stored and analysed by Oath.

Why? For the company to be able to build a profile of you, and to sell its findings to advertising firms. This was also the case for Yahoo before the policy update, but it marks a change for AOL.

Related: How to delete your Facebook account

“The launch of a unified Oath privacy policy and terms of service is a key stepping stone toward creating what’s next for our consumers while empowering them with transparency and controls over how and when their data is used,” an Oath spokesperson told Cnet.

You can find the entire privacy policy document here.

The updated privacy policy was introduced at the tail-end of last week, which seems a strange time for it to go live, considering the scrutiny big tech firms are currently under.

Facebook users are clearly still very unhappy about how their data was allegedly “misused” by Cambridge Analytica, and the social network has been forced to apologise for the incident.

It has also rolled out new privacy features and prompts, which make it easier for users to control how much of their information they share with it and third-party companies.

McAfee’s chief scientist, Raj Samani, recently told Trusted Reviews that he doesn’t think it’s “really a fair expectation” for consumers to know exactly how their data is being used, largely because permissions tend to be buried in lengthy documents that are difficult to understand.

“Privacy is about informed consent, value and transparency,” he said. “If I can hit those three marks, I’d be happy to use anything. If you give me those things, I’ll give you what you want. But that’s subjective. At the moment, we don’t have those three points addressed.”

What frustrates you most about big tech companies’ approach to privacy? Share your thoughts @TrustedReviews.

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