Targeted advertising is a little creepy. One moment you're looking at diet suggestions and the next Facebook is telling you to buy exercise videos. Google has recently clarified its terms of service to say, yes, they're scanning your email for more relevant ads, but if you don't want to feel like Big Brother is following you, there are some ways to limit these ads from your inbox.
WonderHowTo suggests a number of settings you can change, including disabling that Promotions tab altogether. (Click the settings gear at the top, click "Configure inbox," and deselect the "Promotions" tab.)
Other important settings to change if you don't care for targeted ads are in your Ads Settings page in your Google account. There, you can disable personliazed ads (a.k.a. interest-based ads) from showing up in Gmail.
You can't stop Gmail from scanning your emails altogether, and you'll still see contextual ads--ones based on the message you're reading, but short of installing an ad-blocking extension like AdBlock Plus, this will get rid of many disturbingly omniscient ads.
Read more of Melanie Pinola’s Tech IT Out blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Melanie on Twitter at @melaniepinola. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.