Third-party developers able to scan Gmail accounts

Software Developers are Scanning the Inboxes of Gmail Users

Software Developers are Scanning the Inboxes of Gmail Users

The Journal reports that users signing up for certain email-based services using their Gmail account are agreeing to terms and conditions which allow the developers of the service in question to read their emails.

Nearly exactly a year ago, Google promised to stop scanning your inbox to serve up ads in Gmail, but as the Journal's article details, executives of the vetted third-party companies claimed that their employees would read millions of emails and that it was "common practice".

One such company is Return Path, which collects data for marketers by scanning the inboxes of more than two million people who have signed up for one of the free apps in its partner network using a Gmail, Microsoft or Yahoo email address. This is in contrast with what Google promised past year, where it said that it would stop reading its users email messages, which might be true, but it has done very little to stop other partner organisations from doing so.

The report further states that not only can the companies developing products and services read users private emails, it also includes all their employees too.

The opt-in notification users receive. The company has read over 8,000 emails to develop its software. "Some people might consider that to be a dirty secret", says Mr. Loder. "It's kind of reality", he told the Journal.

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As of Monday there were 119 fire engines, 29 hand crews, 12 helicopters, 34 water tenders, 23 bulldozers and nine air tankers. Authorities have ordered residents to evacuate about 50 homes because of a wildfire north of Bend, Ore., in Warm Springs.

It's not news that Google and most of the other top email providers enable outside developers to access the inboxes of users. A Microsoft spokesperson said developers were not allowed to access customer data without consent. A huge scandal developed, however, when one developer sold data on tens of millions of users to a research firm that served political campaigns.

Companies that spoke to The Journal confirmed that the practice was specified in their user agreements and said they had implemented strict rules for employees regarding the handling of email.

Companies like to access emails because there are "shopping histories, travel itineraries, financial records and personal communications".

Google's mail service has always been criticized for the invasive practices of the company, which runs nearly entirely on employing all the data it collects on users to attract advertisers and target their wares to the people most likely to buy them.

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