Of Course App Developers Can Read Your Email

Gmail opti-in

A Wall Street Journal report earlier this week claimed that the search giant is reportedly allowing third-party app developers scan through Gmail accounts.

Because many of these apps increase the functionality of your Gmail, Thompson doesn't think Google should do away with them.

Before you freak out, you should know that you've probably given your consent to those apps scanning your inbox, and, thus, having computers automatically go through your emails.

"Some people might consider that to be a dirty secret". In some cases, staff were able to read users' private emails, according to the "Wall Street Journal'". But there's still this uneasy feeling that all these 3rd party apps can see things like recipient addresses, timestamps, and yes, entire messages.

If you'd like to see which apps are linked to your Gmail account, you can use Google's Security Checkup tool.

Google for its part says that this access to their users data is only given to third-party developers that have been closely vetted. In turn, some developers say they're not aware of any oversight from Google.

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The revelation comes at a bad time for Google and Gmail, the world's largest email service with 1.4 billion users. Users don't know, for example, that people - not just computers - can and do read emails.

In its blog post, Google is trying to portray itself as a company that isn't like Facebook that would give access of hundreds of millions of users' data to a random researcher. Coming to Edison Software, they are a company that help users in managing their emails.

Google on Tuesday also clarified how the company itself uses the data.

Before third-party developers can access private emails, they need to pass a review process comprised of multiple steps created to both automatically and manually evaluate the developer, assess the app's privacy policy - ensuring its legitimacy-, and test the app to verify its function. Users had to deliberately opt out from granting these apps access to their Gmail accounts to stop third-party companies looking at their data.

"We strongly encourage you to review the permissions screen before granting access to any non-Google application", the Internet giant suggested. "To be absolutely clear: no one at Google reads your Gmail, except 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".

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