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Your Gmail inbox is not as private as you think it is!

It probably won’t come as a big surprise, but Facebook isn’t the only big tech company sharing your personal data all over the internet. Google is doing the same in a somewhat shocking manner. According to a report in The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), Google is allowing third-party app developers access to your inbox so that they can read your emails.

Gmail app developers can read your emails
App developers have access to your Gmail inbox and can read your private emails

Google hasn’t exactly been hiding this practice, but it certainly hasn’t highlighted the fact. Talking to The Verge, Google said that it only gives access to vetted third-party app developers.

“The vetting process involves checking whether a company’s identity is correctly represented by its app, its privacy policy states that it will monitor emails, and the data that the company is requesting makes sense for what the company does.”

This means that Gmail app developers will get access to Gmail user data, which will include people’s emails, private details, who they’re writing to, and when emails were sent.

The real shocking revelation to come out of the report from The WSJ is that it isn’t just machines which are scanning for Metadata. Real people have access to the content of users’ emails and can read even the most private correspondence. User consent is required, but as always it is buried in confusing language. The example below shows an example of a consent form users receive. It shows that the app will have access, but there is no mention of human access.

Image via: Google

If you’re shocked by the revelation that strangers can read your emails and would like to review which apps have access to your account, you can do so here. If you’re not happy with the apps that have access to your Gmail, you’ll be able to revoke permission also.

 

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