One is Return Path, an app that collects data for marketers from users' inboxes.
Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc., says it provides data only to outside developers it has vetted and to whom users have explicitly granted permission to access email.
Such tools can be used to compared prices or plan holidays, and can result in human workers reading users' email correspondence rather than computer algorithms, according to the Wall Street Journal. But there's still this uneasy feeling that all these 3rd party apps can see things like recipient addresses, timestamps, and yes, entire messages.
Before a non-Google app may access data, Google shows a permissions screen that displays the types of data the app can access and how it can use that data.
Emails sent and received using Google's Gmail service can be accessed and read by third-party software developers, Google has confirmed.
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The popular email service, which has more than one billion users around the world, gave hundreds of developers outside the company full access to users' inboxes.
Some Gmail users may be shocked when they realize that humans may have read their emails on Gmail. However, looking at how easily users can be tricked into giving apps access, this seems like a bet that Google shouldn't risk taking.
There is no suggestion that the named tech companies have misused email data.
If you want to check if any developers have permission to read yours, you can go to Google's privacy checkup page. "Gmail's primary business model is to sell our paid email service to organisations as a part of G Suite", Frey informed.
And although the spotlight is on Google, Tobok says it's not the only company that is negligent with consumer data.
Tobok says when Google, Apple and the like are vetting apps, they focus on the quality of the app and whether the company can fix defects. Also, its own employees read emails only "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".