Google allowing 3rd-party developers to scan your Gmail

Software Developers are Scanning the Inboxes of Gmail Users

App developers have been reading your Gmail, and it's alarmingly common

Google said that it provides data to outside developers who have been vetted and who have been granted permission by users to access their email. In 2017, Google said its computers will soon stop reading the emails of its Gmail users to personalise their ads.

But the Journal found that Google "continues to let hundreds of outside software developers scan the inboxes of millions of Gmail users who signed up for email-based services offering shopping price comparisons, automated travel-itinerary planners or other tools".

Why would an app developer allow humans to read your emails? At one point about two years ago, Return Path employees read about 8,000 unredacted emails to help train the company's software, people familiar with the episode say.

The Wall Street Journal's Douglas MacMillan reports Google promised to stop the practice because it wanted users to "remain confident that Google will keep privacy and security paramount".

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Google didn't respond to a request for comment.

One of those companies is Return Path Inc., which collects data for marketers by scanning the inboxes of more than two million people who have signed up for one of the free apps in Return Path's partner network using a Gmail, Microsoft Corp. or Yahoo email address.

It's not news that Google and many top email providers enable outside developers to access users' inboxes.

As per a report by Business Insider, software developed by third parties are able to scan and read your Gmail, apparently without much restriction from Google.

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People most susceptible to email skimming are those who have subscribed to various online services.

Google allows third-party app developers to read its customers' Gmail emails, a new report reveals, throwing a damper on its claims that it protects its users' privacy. The report further states that not only can the companies developing products and services read users private emails, it also includes all their employees too.

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. 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.

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