Third-Party Developers Reportedly Allowed To Scan Gmail Users’ Emails

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Software Developers are Scanning the Inboxes of Gmail Users

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.

Those of you particularly concerned about the privacy cost of using what is arguably the most popular email provider in the world may check all the third-party applications that have access to your Gmail account right here.

Nearly exactly a year ago, Google promised to stop scanning your inbox to serve up ads in Gmail, but as the Journal's article details, executives of the vetted third-party companies claimed that their employees would read millions of emails and that it was "common practice". Many of these developers simply want to offer a new email app, help you sift through your emails, or do something else you can't achieve through Gmail's core experience.

It pointed the BBC to its developer policies, which state: "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 your ability to access Google API Services".

It said Facebook for years let outside developers have access but claimed the practice was stopped by 2015.


Company computers, which scan some 100 million emails a day, were "trained" by workers who personally read thousands of emails. We suggested the very same thing past year after a big Google Docs phishing scam hit Google users. The company has read over 8,000 emails to develop its software.

The report has specifically mentioned two apps in its report, Return Path and Edison Software.

Google was yet to comment on the report. She noted that if she'd emailed someone who was using Return Path or Edison, its employees could have read her emails, too. 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. Consumers' reaction is becoming a major challenge for tech companies as they face lawmakers, lawsuits and the threat of regulation over data policies they say they've been telling us about all along.

"I didn't agree to have my data evaluated by Return Path, but by signing up for the service, somebody I sent an email to has opted me into it", Khatibloo said.

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