Third-party developers able to scan Gmail accounts

Adjust Comment Print

All the top tech companies are under pressure in the United States and in Europe to do more to protect user privacy and to be more transparent about any parties with access to people's data.

Both companies have used their email access to enhance their products and build new technology, representatives told the Wall Street Journal. An executive at another company said that the reading of emails by employees has become "common practice". 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. 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.


Google's mail service has always been criticized for the invasive practices of the company, which runs nearly entirely on employing all the data it collects on users to attract advertisers and target their wares to the people most likely to buy them. No, but third-party apps might be. They also claimed that such access is subject to strict guidelines, though it's not really surprising that privacy advocates would be alarmed at someone in Silicon Valley having full access to personal correspondence between, say, two spouses, regardless of whatever guidelines may be imposed on the reader.

Developers whose apps have such access to your account can't change your password, delete your account, or use Google Pay on your behalf, but they can potentially read your email - or have their employees do it.


The Journal cites companies like Return Path, a marketing service that reviewed about 8,000 emails two years ago while working on its software; computers can handle about 100 million messages per day. We leave our privacy at the door when we use products from Facebook and Google, and there's nothing that we can do about it. Google does little to police those developers, who train their computers-and, in some cases, employees-to read their users' emails, a Wall Street Journal examination has found.

Google plainly states, that "When you give an app full account access, it can see and change almost all information in your Google Account".


Comments