Google Now Tells You Bills Are Due; Does It Go Too Far?

Forgetting to pay bills is a pain. Sometimes, you get charges that might be more than a minimum payment — and those might not be reversible. Google thinks they can help, though. If you get emailed reminders about bills sent to your Gmail inbox, you may end up with a Google Now card reminding you to pay your bill. The feature is meant to be handy, but it seems a few users aren't too pleased with Google scanning their emails to find bills.

Here's how it works: Google scans your Gmail for bill reminders — that happens without you even knowing or asking it to. In Google Now (or the Google Search app), tap on the mic icon in the search bar. Tell Google "show me my bills", or "my bills due this week", and cards based on your emailed bills pop up.

Depending on the info in your email, you might get to see how much is due, as well as the date you need to pay by. A link to the email containing more info is also present.

Sounds handy, but is it a step too far? In scanning through the Google+ responses to the announcement, it seems users aren't too happy about Google digging so deep into their personal info. Comments like "A bit unnerving because that reinforces how much Google is scanning and processing the contents of my emails" and "you've been going through my mail" saw the most plusses.

If you think the feature is a good thing, by all means — enjoy it. If you're uncomfortable with Google scanning your email, there's not much hope — they'll do it anyway. You can, however, use an app like Mint to get hold of finances. It just won't scan your email for you.

Source: Google