Third-Party Developers Reportedly Allowed To Scan Gmail Users’ Emails

Third-Party Developers Reportedly Allowed To Scan Gmail Users’ Emails

It said Gmail users could visit the Security Check-up page to see which apps they had linked to their account, and revoke any they no longer wanted to share data with.

The revelation comes at a bad time for Google and Gmail, the world's largest email service with 1.4 billion users.

Clients and services may require access; a third-party email client needs access to emails, and an add-on that runs directly on Gmail needs access as well. Like Android phone applications, when a user signs up to a service or platform they will be shown a message that asks permission for access to a range of data.

The other side of the medal is that developers sometimes request permissions that they don't need explicitly and that it is often hard for users to determine whether the request makes sense.

Amid the controversy over the tech giants spying on their customers, censoring social-media postings and discriminating against conservatives, Google promised to stop culling marketing information from emails.

While these kind of apps do ask for user consent, numerous forms don't make it explicitly clear that a human will be reading through your emails, not just a machine. While many companies use machines to skim email messages for keywords and phrases, few allow their employees to read through user's messages.

"As anyone who knows anything about software knows, humans program software - artificial intelligence comes directly from human intelligence", Return Path founder Matt Blumberg wrote, adding that the company takes "great care to limit who has access to the data, supervise all access to the data, deploying a Virtual Safety Room, where data can not leave this VSR and all data is destroyed after the work is completed".

Some Gmail users may be shocked when they realize that humans may have read their emails on Gmail.

With Gmail being a free email service, it makes sense that Google would need to find a way to make money, right? Although most of the work is still done by computers, in one case, a company called "Return Path" allowed some 8,000 emails to be read, unaltered, by its employees. We suggested the very same thing past year after a big Google Docs phishing scam hit Google users.

Only companies checked by Google would be able to access messages and users would have had to grant permission when they agreed to the terms and conditions of third-party tools.

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