Gmail Denies Reading of User Emails by Third Party Developers

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After Wall Street Journal published a report highlighting third-party developers which were scanning through Gmail account, there has been some backlash from the Gmail users with concerns regarding their privacy and data security. To this report, Google replied that it conducts a vetting process for third-party developers before granting them access to integrate with Gmail.


The report said that Google “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.”

However, Google begs to differ in this regard as the tech giant has said that it respects users’ privacy and also that it allows full control to business as well as individual consumers regarding how their data is used.

Suzanne Frey, Director, Security, Trust and Privacy, Google Cloud, remarked in a blog post "We make it possible for applications from other developers to integrate with Gmail -- like email clients, trip planners and customer relationship management (CRM) systems -- so that you have options around how you access and use your email,” she further added "It includes automated and manual review of the developer, assessment of the app's privacy policy and homepage to ensure it is a legitimate app, and in-app testing to ensure the app works as it says it does.”

Google highlighted that it has measures in place which allows it to vet the apps before they are published. The tech giant underscored that any app with access to Gmail is first put through scrutiny to check if the app follows security standards or not.

Google said keeping its stance "We strongly encourage you to review the permissions screen before granting access to any non-Google application.”

Frey also did not stand back while defending the company as she further added "We do not process email content to serve ads, and we are not compensated by developers for API access. Gmail's primary business model is to sell our paid email service to organisations as a part of G Suite.”

Google clarified that the phrase ‘automatic processing’ has caused some unnecessary unrest in the community with people misunderstanding it as Google ‘reading’ the mails. However, Frey said, "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.”

It is noteworthy that in 2017 only Google has highlighted that it would stop scanning through the users’ mail to monetise the information. Gmail, Google’s prodigy email client has 1.4 billion users globally, a number which no other email client has been able to boast.

Reported By

Junior Editor

Arpit spends his day closely following the telecom and tech industry. A music connoisseur and a night owl, he also takes a deep interest in the Indian technology start-up scene and spends rest of his time spilling poetry and stories on paper.

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