Saturday, 22 September, 2018

Google allowing third party app developers access to millions of gmail accounts

Software Developers are Scanning the Inboxes of Gmail Users App developers have been reading your Gmail, and it's alarmingly common
Mandy Jefferson | 03 July, 2018, 21:09

One company told the Wall Street Journal that the practice was "common" and a "dirty secret".

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. "Google does little to police those developers, who train their computers - and, in some cases, employees - to read their users' emails", it said. Gmail users who signed up for "email-based services" like "shopping price comparisons", and "automated travel-itinerary planners" are most at risk of having their private messages read, The Journal reported. Google has since stopped that practice, but not everyone else did.

The Wall Street Journal published what seemed like a bombshell report about developers being able to read your emails if you give them access to your Gmail account.

The feature was finally dropped a year ago, in a move welcomed by privacy advocates, but it turns out employees of third-party app developers may well have been reading your private messages.

Google, however, has denied privacy violations, stating data is provided to vetted third-party developers only and with the users' explicit consent.

Chelsea confident of beating Liverpool to £65m Alisson transfer deal
The Blues will hope to attract an offer of around £50m to sell Courtois, a player who has won two Premier League titles. If you asked me about [Patrick] Schick I'd say the same thing, I've read so much but no offer has come in.


Now You: Do you permit third-party apps access to important data? According to the report, apparently it has become "common practice" for marketing companies to scan the emails of their users, although we suppose common isn't necessarily good. The apps request certain permissions, including the ability to "read, send, delete and manage your email". While many of these companies in question utilise machines to go through users emails for keywords and phrases, some of them have it done manually by their employees.

Another firm - eDataSource Inc - said engineers had previously reviewed emails to improve its algorithms.

Last year, Google said that it will keep the privacy of its users paramount and would stop its computers from scanning the inboxes of Gmail users for information to personalize advertisements.

It pointed the BBC to its developer policies, which state: "There should be no surprises for Google users: hidden features, services, or actions that are inconsistent with the marketed objective of your application may lead Google to suspend your ability to access Google API Services".

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