A WSJ report yesterday talked about what has remained a widely known "dirty secret" in the tech industry - the ability for third-party app developers to access your inboxes.
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. The increased scrutiny follows the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the now defunct data firm accused of misusing the personal information of more than 80 million Facebook users in an attempt to sway elections.
"We do not process email content to serve ads, and we are not compensated by developers for API access".
On this page, you can see which apps have access to your account, as well as apps and sites where you use your Google password to log in. Now responding on the issue, the search giant Google has released an official blog post clearing its stance on the issue.
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. Granting permissions like this moves your data out of the hands of Google, he says, and it can be impossible to know what's happening to it. Users don't know, for example, that people - not just computers - can and do read emails. Coming to Edison Software, they are a company that help users in managing their emails.
Google is only supposed to allow proper vetted third-party developers access to this treasure trove of information, and you can see the requirements here.
However, Google still grants that same access to third-party app developers. "Gmail's primary business model is to sell our paid email service to organisations as a part of G Suite", Frey informed.
Critics and security experts have said that while the policy may be covered in the user agreement, it's still not a "reasonable" stipulation that third parties can access a user's private data. Google's 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", the company said in a written statement.