Published: Wed, July 04, 2018
Tech | By Constance Martin

You Might Want to Check Which Apps Have Access to Your Gmail

You Might Want to Check Which Apps Have Access to Your Gmail

If you use the email client Thunderbird for example, you may see it listed as a third-party app with account access.

The outside app companies receive access to messages from Gmail users who signed up for things like price-comparison services or automated travel-itinerary planners, according to The Journal.

Accurately represent themselves: Apps should not misrepresent their identity and must be clear about how they are using your data. According to the blog post, the company has a strict policy on allowing partners to read emails; adding that it only has access to data permitted by its users.

"Some people might consider that to be a dirty secret". This is done by showing users ads based on what they like, which in the past Google used to scan the emails of users to see what they might be interested in. In turn, some developers say they're not aware of any oversight from Google. The company has read over 8,000 emails to develop its software. Edison Software did the same for "hundreds of users" when building a new feature, the paper says.

Almost every major email provider allows developers to access inboxes of their users, so it isn't surprising that Google is doing the same. Then, working on machines that prevented them from downloading information to other devices, they read the personal email messages of hundreds of users-with user information already redacted-along with the system's suggested replies, manually indicating whether each made sense.

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They include Return Path, a company that collects data for advertisers, and email organisation tool Edison Software.

So far, there has been no proof that data acquired by Google or these third-party developers have been misused, just like with the aforementioned Cambridge Analytica scandal. In other words, Google can't do much for legitimate apps that you've given permission to.

Critics and security experts have said that while the policy may be covered in the user agreement, it's still not a "reasonable" stipulation that third parties can access a user's private data. In a tone that sounds very similar to Apple's, Google says that it doesn't make any money by giving developers API access.

For G Suite users, Google said admins can control which non-Google apps can access users data.

Google said it only reads emails in "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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