Gmail Third-Party App Developers Allowed to Scan Your Emails by Google

Gmail Third-Party App Developers Allowed to Scan Your Emails by Google

Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc., says it provides data only to outside developers it has vetted and to whom users have explicitly granted permission to access email.

Not that long ago, Google promised its users that it will stop using bots to search for potential information, that could aid advertising, within their emails.

The Journal reports that users signing up for certain email-based services using their Gmail account are agreeing to terms and conditions which allow the developers of the service in question to read their emails. The WSJ also says that while computers do most of this work, human employees read about 8,000 emails to help train the software. Google itself is very strict about giving employees access to emails and limits it to situations where a security issue or bug requires it, or when users give Google explicit permission to do so according to the Wall Street Journal.

The feature was finally dropped a year ago, in a move welcomed by privacy advocates, but it turns out employees of third-party app developers may well have been reading your private messages.

Although Return Path declined to comment on details of the incident, it did say it sometimes lets employees see emails when fixing problems with its algorithms.

Belgium Win In Amazing Comeback That Will Be A World Cup Classic
Japan failed to impress in their qualifying campaign, winning a weak group but dropping ten points in the process. However, he refused to look past Japan towards a potential quarter-final against Mexico or Brazil.

Gmail has about 1.4 billion users while Microsoft and Oath, the group formed after Verizon bough Yahoo!, are the next two biggest email providers. The increased scrutiny follows the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which a data firm was accused of misusing the personal information of more than 80 million Facebook users in an attempt to sway elections.

It pointed the BBC to its developer policies, which state: "There should be no surprises for Google users: hidden features, services, or actions that are inconsistent with the marketed objective of your application may lead Google to suspend your ability to access Google API Services". It may do some internal testing to make sure of this, as well.

The Wall Street Journal published what seemed like a bombshell report about developers being able to read your emails if you give them access to your Gmail account.

The companies said they had not asked users for specific permission to read their Gmail messages, because the practice was covered by their user agreements.

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