Google lets third-party developers read users’ private Gmail messages

Google lets third-party developers read users’ private Gmail messages

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 companies are not doing their full due diligence before giving people permission to sell stuff on the App Store (for example)", he says. That means third-party apps must represent their identity accurately and request only the data relevant to their objective.

Normally, computers scan and analyse over 100 million emails per day, but Google allows third-party software to electronically scan the inboxes of millions of Gmail users.

Before a non-Google app may access data, Google shows a permissions screen that displays the types of data the app can access and how it can use that data.

Google has confirmed anyone who has linked third-party apps to their accounts may have unknowingly allowed third-party developers to read their private emails.

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.

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"Overall there should be no surprises for Google users: hidden features, services, or actions that are inconsistent with the marketed goal of your application may lead Google to suspend [access]". Gmail has almost 1.4 billion users globally - more users than the next 25 largest email providers combined. Employees of Edison Software apparently reviewed the emails of hundreds of its users to make a new feature for its mobile app that reads and organizes your email. Then, working on machines that prevented them from downloading information to other devices, they read the personal email messages of hundreds of users-with user information already redacted-along with the system's suggested replies, manually indicating whether each made sense.

Google's statement comes amid escalating privacy concerns among users over how big tech companies are using their data.

"Consumers must put their foot down and demand - not ask; demand - clarity on how their data is stored or viewed or accessed by any third party", Tobok says.

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

Google told the WSJ that its own employees read emails only "in very specific cases where you ask us to and give consent, or where we need to for security purposes, such as investigating a bug or abuse".

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