Google lets 3rd-party app developers read your emails

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Software Developers are Scanning the Inboxes of Gmail Users

Ostensibly, Google only allows vetted third-party developers to request such permissions, and the intention of these companies is to use this information for targeted shopping suggestions and advertising, but the concern remains over how closely these companies are monitored once they've been granted access. Wired editor-in-chief and CBS News contributor Nicholas Thompson joins "CBS This Morning" to discuss whether this is similar to the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal and what Google needs to do to make privacy settings clearer.

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

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A year ago, Google promised to stop scanning the inboxes of Gmail users but the company has not done much to protect Gmail inboxes obtained by outside software developers, according to the newspaper.

Neither of these two companies sought explicit permission from the users to read their emails but say that it is covered under their user agreements.

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According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, the tech giant continues to let hundreds of developers read people's emails. The WSJ also says that while computers do most of this work, human employees read about 8,000 emails to help train the software.

It's interesting to note that, judging from The Journal's story, very little indicates that Google is doing anything different from Microsoft or other top email providers. The Journal mentions two companies that have such practices in place, including Return Path, a marketing company, and Edison Software, which makes a mobile email app. While many of these companies in question utilise machines to go through users emails for keywords and phrases, some of them have it done manually by their employees. "Any time our engineers or data scientists personally review emails in our panel (which again, is completely consistent with our policies), we take great care to limit who has access to the data, supervise all access to the data". But thinking developers weren't going through users' emails was simply naive.

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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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