Published: Tue, July 03, 2018
Hi-Tech | By Grace Becker

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

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

For those who might be concerned about this discovery, you can go to your Google Account's main page, head to the Sign-in & Security section and select "Apps with account access".

Not only are emails scanned by automated systems but the employees of these companies are said to collectively read millions of emails, according to executives quoted in the report.

One such company is Return Path, which collects data for marketers by scanning the inboxes of more than two million people who have signed up for one of the free apps in its partner network using a Gmail, Microsoft or Yahoo email address.

Last year Google assured that it would stop scanning emails and ensure complete privacy of its users.

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One security expert said it was "surprising" that Google allowed it. Google does little to police those developers, who train their computers-and, in some cases, employees-to read their users' emails, a Wall Street Journal examination has found.

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.

Google lets people connect their account to third-party email management tools, or services such as travel planning and price comparisons. The search giant even rolled out new features for Android users that give them better control over privacy settings in their Gmail accounts. This is in contrast with what Google promised previous year, where it said that it would stop reading its users email messages, which might be true, but it has done very little to stop other partner organisations from doing so. "Any time our engineers or data scientists personally review emails in our panel (which again, is completely consistent with our policies), we take great care to limit who has access to the data, supervise all access to the data".

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. The company has read over 8,000 emails to develop its software. Top tech companies are under pressure in the United States and Europe to do more to protect user privacy and be more transparent about any parties with access to people's data.

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