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Did you know your Gmail messages can be read by third-party app developers?

By Cookie Monster - on 5 Jul 2018, 2:00am

Third-party app developers can read emails of Gmail users

Do you use Gmail as your primary email service? If you do, there is a chance that your emails have been read by third-party app developers.

According to The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), Gmail’s access settings allow data companies and app developers to read the contents of emails such as recipient addresses and time stamps. While these apps require user consent, it is unclear whether humans and/or computers are reading the emails. Apparently, there are a lot of apps with this access such as those from SalesForce and Microsoft Office.

In a statement to The Verge, Google said that it only gives data to approved third-party developers and with users’ explicit consent. Google also told the WSJ that employees may also read the emails, but only in “very specific cases” where users request them to and give consent, or when Google has to access for security reasons.

Other email service providers also provide similar access such as Return Path and Edison Software. Both companies share that they had human engineers look through hundreds to thousands of emails to train machine algorithms to handle the data. 

There is no evidence yet that third-party developers have misused the data, but the mere thought of someone or a machine reading your private emails is bound to raise a few eyebrows.

Source: The Wall Street Journal via The Verge