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

04 July, 2018, 07:25 | Author: Leah Owens
  • Software Developers are Scanning the Inboxes of Gmail Users

In fact, according to a Google support page, these apps often "can see and change almost all information in your Google Account".

Almost every major email provider allows developers to access inboxes of their users, so it isn't surprising that Google is doing the same.

Clients and services may require access; a third-party email client needs access to emails, and an add-on that runs directly on Gmail needs access as well. Most internet users have more than one email address, including work emails and personal ones. There is also no option to deny certain access, it is always an all or nothing type of situation.

Its computers analyze about 100 million emails a day, while employees reading as much as 8,000 unredacted emails at one point.

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. 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.

The opt-in notification users receive.

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The very first thing that you may want to do is open the Permissions page for your Google Account to make sure that only legitimate applications and services have access to it.

Google responded Tuesday to a backlash surrounding Gmail, after it was reported that employees at third-party apps could read people's emails. This company collects data for marketers through this scanning. We suggested the very same thing previous year after a big Google Docs phishing scam hit Google users.

"Don't request access to information that you don't need", it warns developers using its API Services.

Google said that it provides data to outside developers who have been vetted and who have been granted permission by users to access their email.

Some apps require those kinds of permissions to do what you've asked them to do.

"Overall 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 [access]".


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