September 23, 2018

Third-parties may read your Google Mail emails if you allow it

04 July 2018, 02:15 | Megan Pierce

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

Software Developers are Scanning the Inboxes of Gmail Users

From there you will be able to see all the apps that now have access to your Google account, and you can remove some of them if you no longer use them or if you're not comfortable with it. The Alphabet offshoot, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment, did not disclose how many apps have Gmail access. They check on the company's identity, its privacy policies, and that the data they are getting makes sense for the business that they are running. It's worth noting that while Google's permission screen lets users view the types of data that can be accessed by apps, it doesn't allow them to choose which specific information is or isn't available to third-parties.

"Some people might consider that to be a dirty secret", Mr Loder told the Wall Street Journal. No, but third-party apps might be.

Hunt says the best you can do is think about whether you need the app you're installing, and then think about what permissions the app really needs and approve accordingly.

Emails sent and received using Google's Gmail service can be accessed and read by third-party software developers, Google has confirmed.

In Google's case, outside developers must pass a vetting process, and as part of that, Google ensures they have an acceptable privacy agreement, The Journal reported, citing a Google representative. The popular email service, which has more than one billion users around the world, gave developers outside the company access to inboxes. At one point about two years ago, Return Path employees read about 8,000 unredacted emails to help train the company's software, people familiar with the episode say. Granting permissions like this moves your data out of the hands of Google, he says, and it can be impossible to know what's happening to it.

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While these kind of apps do ask for user consent, numerous forms don't make it explicitly clear that a human will be reading through your emails, not just a machine. To develop its products like the "Smart Reply' feature, Edison Software has read thousands of emails".

There is no suggestion that the named tech companies have misused email data.

Google allows you to check which apps are connected to your account.

Using a service like Gmail puts you at the mercy of companies like Google.

While third-party apps require user consent to access data, the consent form doesn't necessarily indicate that it may also allow humans to read user's emails.

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