Your Gmail messages can be read by some third-party developers

Your Gmail messages can be read by some third-party developers

Those with accounts connected to third-party apps are subject to this potential use of humans, BBC News reported Tuesday.

Google is allowing app developers to sift through your Gmail account.

After the Facebook data misuse scandal hit the headlines in March, Apple was quick to point out that the iPhone maker doesn't have to sell user data because its customers aren't its product.

Why would an app developer allow humans to read your emails?

"Some people might consider that to be a dirty secret", Mr Loder told the Wall Street Journal.

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

The third-party developers who have access to Gmail user data allegedly share them with marketers, hedge funds and other businesses. Now responding on the issue, the search giant Google has released an official blog post clearing its stance on the issue.

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For example, the company Return Path uses computers to scan about 100 million emails a day from Gmail, Microsoft or Yahoo! email inboxes of those who have signed up for a free app through its partner network.

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

According to Google, it provides data only to outside developers it has vetted and to whom users have explicitly granted permission to access email. 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.

The newspaper spoke to a number of companies which claimed their employees had read people's emails, including software firm Edison Software and eDateSource Inc, which used the data to tweak its algorithms.

Before an app is able to access your data, she wrote, the company always shows a "permissions screen" that details the data the app can access. No, it's not Google, this time around, but this privacy-infringing feature does affect Gmail, which happens to be the world's top email service.

"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", she added.

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