Google explains Gmail privacy after controversy

Software Developers are Scanning the Inboxes of Gmail Users

Software Developers are Scanning the Inboxes of Gmail Users

Some of these companies train software to scan the email, while others enable their workers to pore over private messages, the report says.

Google users may authorize companies to access account data.

For example, the company Return Path uses computers to scan about 100 million emails a day from Gmail, Microsoft or Yahoo! email inboxes of those who have signed up for a free app through its partner network. Developers swear that manual access is used only оn rare and special occasions and is exclusively to improve customer experience, but we've heard that reasoning enough times to know it's just something PR representatives are forced to say. Most internet users have more than one email address, including work emails and personal ones.

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. There is also no option to deny certain access, it is always an all or nothing type of situation.

The feature was finally dropped a year ago, in a move welcomed by privacy advocates, but it turns out employees of third-party app developers may well have been reading your private messages.

Is Google reading your emails? But in some cases they may have access to more of your information - potentially a lot more, such as the ability to read and delete your email messages. Companies may reveal additional details about how data is processed but most users don't read privacy policies, terms of service, and other legal documents prior to allowing access to their data or installing applications.

The outside app companies receive access to messages from Gmail users who signed up for things like price-comparison services or automated travel-itinerary planners, according to The Journal. "To be absolutely clear: no one at Google reads your Gmail, except 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". We suggested the very same thing a year ago after a big Google Docs phishing scam hit Google users.

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

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