You Might Want to Check Which Apps Have Access to Your Gmail

04 July, 2018, 07:26 | Author: Bennie Parsons
  • Software Developers are Scanning the Inboxes of Gmail Users

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

The revelation could not have come at a worse time as, following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, software companies are taking extra steps to protect data privacy of its users.

Google promised a year ago to provide more privacy to Gmail users, but The Wall Street Journal reports that hundreds of app makers have access to millions of inboxes belonging to Gmail users.

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. Google also defends the practice by saying it gets permission from users before allowing third-party applications to connect to an account.

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


According to a report by the Wall Street Journal on Monday, Google allows various third-party app developers to sift through its users Gmail messages under the guise of offering users better products and services.

People most susceptible to email skimming are those who have subscribed to various online services.

But you should make sure you trust the apps and developers that have such access to your accounts and that you are only giving them as much access as they need. Although most of the work is still done by computers, in one case, a company called "Return Path" allowed some 8,000 emails to be read, unaltered, by its employees. This is done by showing users ads based on what they like, which in the past Google used to scan the emails of users to see what they might be interested in. Email managing firms Return Path and Edison Software are few of the trusted companies.

Hundreds of app developers electronically "scan" inboxes of the people who signed up for some of these programs, and in some cases, employees do the reading, the paper reported. You did that so that you could take advantage of a particular type of app built around email, like a service that tells you when prices for specific products goes down.

The companies said they didn't ask users about reading their emails because such language is "covered" by their user agreements.

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