Third-party app developers could be reading your Gmail

Third-party app developers could be reading your Gmail

For those who might be concerned about this discovery, you can go to your Google Account's main page, head to the Sign-in & Security section and select "Apps with account access".

But the internet giant continues to let hundreds of outside software developers scan the inboxes of millions of Gmail users who signed up for email-based services offering shopping price comparisons, automated travel-itinerary planners or other tools. Companies may reveal additional details about how data is processed but most users don't read privacy policies, terms of service, and other legal documents prior to allowing access to their data or installing applications. At one point, the company's employees apparently used to read about 8,000 uncensored emails to help train the company's software. Developing those features isn't easy, though, and the WSJ reported that some developers read users' emails to help speed up the process.

A year ago, Google promised to stop scanning the inboxes of Gmail users but the company has not done much to protect Gmail inboxes obtained by outside software developers, according to the newspaper.

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. "Our email app was mentioned in the context of our engineers having in the past the ability to read a small random sample of de-identified messages for R&D purposes".

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

Jordan Henderson helps England rout Panama at World Cup
Senegal and Japan are now best placed to escape the group after Poland and Colombia suffered defeats in their opening games. Moussa Wague looked to have earned the three points for Senegal as he defied a tight angle to restore his team's advantage.

According to the Wall Street Journal, this permission sometimes allows employees of third-party apps to read users' emails.

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. It may do some internal testing to make sure of this, as well.

It's interesting to note that, judging from The Journal's story, very little indicates that Google is doing anything different from Microsoft or other top email providers.

The companies said they had not asked users for specific permission to read their Gmail messages, because the practice was covered by their user agreements.

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