Google's Gmail not safe anymore, here's why

Google's Gmail not safe anymore, here's why

The Wall Street Journal, which was the first to point this out, called it "tech's dirty secret" that has been kept under wraps for a long time.

To recall, Google back in 2017, said its computers will soon stop reading the emails of its Gmail users to personalise their ads.

Not only are emails scanned by automated systems but the employees of these companies are said to collectively read millions of emails, according to executives quoted in the report.

While several app developers have termed this a "common practice" where humans access user data to develop machine algorithms, Google is yet to ensure that user data will not be compromised in a Facebook-Cambridge Analytica manner.

To find out and edit which third-party apps have access to your Gmail account, head to the My Account page and login.

A new report says Google allows third-party applications to scan the emails of some Gmail users.

Some of these companies train software to scan the email, while others enable their workers to pore over private messages, the report says.

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Google's developer agreement prohibits exposing a user's private data to anyone else "without explicit opt-in consent from that user".

Two third-party apps have come under particular scrutiny. "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".

Gmail has about 1.4 billion users while Microsoft and Oath, the group formed after Verizon bough Yahoo!, are the next two biggest email providers.

The Internet giant recently rolled out new features for Android users to make it easier for them to navigate their Gmail accounts and review security and privacy options.

Google said only companies that had been vetted could access messages, and only if users had "explicitly granted permission to access email". "Return Path is an app that collects data for marketers by analysing users" inbox emails.

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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