Published: Wed, July 04, 2018
IT | By Laverne Higgins

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

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

Google pointed us to Security Checkup, which lets you revoke access from any third-party apps you've given access to, and more recently started flagging apps that ask for a large amount of data. Developing those features isn't easy, though, and the WSJ reported that some developers read users' emails to help speed up the process.

Any of Gmail's 1.3 billion users who have connected their email addresses to apps may have unknowingly given those apps permission to read their communications.

In a report from The Wall Street Journal (via Business Insider), it seems that third-party developers are still scanning the emails of Gmail users, which apparently have been allowed by Google themselves.

People who have connected third-party apps to their accounts may have unwittingly given external developers permission to read their messages. This company collects data for marketers through this scanning.

Google has confirmed that private emails sent and received by Gmail users can sometimes be read by third-party app developers. 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.

The companies that had spokespeople quoted in the article claim that all their employees must adhere to strict guidelines when checking user data, and while there are no signs of misuse amongst other developers, the potential is certainly there.

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It said in a press statement that it wouldn't attempt to recover Falcon 9's first stage. Gerst can also ask the robot questions beyond the simple procedure at hand.

Fatemeh Khatibloo, and analyst at Forrester, said tech companies need to make clear to users what the tradeoff is for receiving services for free.

Gmail allows its users to install additional apps that work with the online system.

You can opt out of data sharing in some cases - or you can stop using the service.

The report said a former officer for eDataSource Inc. said that having employees read someone else's emails is "common practice" for data collectors. The Journal mentions two companies that have such practices in place, including Return Path, a marketing company, and Edison Software, which makes a mobile email app.

Although Return Path declined to comment on details of the incident, it did say it sometimes lets employees see emails when fixing problems with its algorithms.

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