Google allowing 3rd-party developers to scan your Gmail

Google allowing 3rd-party developers to scan your Gmail

Google allowing 3rd-party developers to scan your Gmail

Though users have to specifically agree to having their emails read when they install the apps, a report from The Wall Street Journal shows that this goes beyond software scanning the contents of email, and includes in some cases human developers reading the messages. Any of Gmail's 1.3 billion users who have connected their email addresses to apps may have unknowingly given those apps permission to read their communications.

Today in Of Course Silicon Valley Doesn't Care About You, we have Google confirming that "human staff" are allowed to read users' private emails under certain circumstances. Some allow people to write emails in special fonts, or to make it easier to find images to send to others, while others make it easier for people to organise their emails into folders.

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.

Google's mail service has always been criticized for the invasive practices of the company, which runs nearly entirely on employing all the data it collects on users to attract advertisers and target their wares to the people most likely to buy them.

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

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Some Gmail users may be shocked when they realize that humans may have read their emails on Gmail. A huge scandal developed, however, when one developer sold data on tens of millions of users to a research firm that served political campaigns.

Marketing company Return Path and email organization tool designer Edison Software were both name-checked in the newspaper's investigation this week, which revealed that some automated systems had the ability to analyze 100 million emails every day. 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. It may do some internal testing to make sure of this, as well. In turn, some developers say they're not aware of any oversight from Google.

The other is Edison Software, an email management app.

The app companies say that their actions are covered by their user agreements.

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