Google allows developers to access user emails

04 July 2018, 12:45 | Myrtle Hill

App developers have been reading your Gmail, and it's alarmingly common

Software Developers are Scanning the Inboxes of Gmail Users

Google pointed us to Security Checkup, which lets you revoke access from any third-party apps you've given access to, and more recently started flagging apps that ask for a large amount of data.

Any of Gmail's 1.3 billion users who have connected their email addresses to apps may have unknowingly given those apps permission to read their communications. However, new information surfaced in a report by The Wall Street Journal, that this practice is not only continuing, but emails are also read by employees of various third party app developers.

According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, the tech giant continues to let hundreds of developers read people's emails.

Last year, Google assured its users that its computers would stop scanning emails and keep the privacy and security paramount. A Microsoft spokesperson said developers were not allowed to access customer data without consent. We suggested the very same thing a year ago after a big Google Docs phishing scam hit Google users.

The outside app companies receive access to messages from Gmail users who signed up for things like price-comparison services or automated travel-itinerary planners, according to The Journal.

Those of you particularly concerned about the privacy cost of using what is arguably the most popular email provider in the world may check all the third-party applications that have access to your Gmail account right here.

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You can opt out of data sharing in some cases - or you can stop using the service.

While several app developers have termed this a "common practice" where humans access user data to develop machine algorithms, Google is yet to ensure that user data will not be compromised in a Facebook-Cambridge Analytica manner.

You may need to research each individual program or service to make an educated decision.

The report has specifically mentioned two apps in its report, Return Path and Edison Software. Its computers analyze about 100 million emails a day, while employees reading as much as 8,000 unredacted emails at one point.

Google has not yet commented on the issue.

"Google does little to police those developers, who train their computers - and, in some cases, employees - to read their users' emails", the report further stated.



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