Google defends Gmail data sharing, gives details on violation

21 September, 2018, 19:42 | Author: Sammy Rose
  • Google says app developers can still scan Gmail with opt-in

But according to the Journal, the apps have also given their developers the ability to look through unredacted personal emails, which can be used for marketing or product-refinement purposes.

Google stopped scanning its Gmail for keywords previous year - but still allows third-party developers to do so, according to a July letter from Susan Molinari, Google point person for governmental affairs. And what's more, the firm is okay with that data being further shared with others, with one proviso - Molinari wrote a letter to Senators stating that: "Developers may share data with third parties so long as they are transparent with the users about how they are using the data". Pretending that it is, though, is more like following someone else's prompt than genuinely responding to what The Wall Street Journal read in a letter Google sent to senators questioning the privacy protections afforded to Gmail users. "And when we suspend apps, we warn users to remove the apps' access to their data".

Before a published, non-Google app can access your Gmail messages, it goes through a multi-step review process at the company, it said. If the company detects changes in the app's behavior, it will manually review that app and unverify it if it's determined to be in violation of Google's terms.

In a letter made public on Thursday, Google addresses concerns made by lawmakers over the way it allows data to be collected from its users. A lot of Gmail users probably didn't realize the contents of their emails could be used in that way.

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She also said Google restricts this type of access to a "very limited number of individuals", requires documentation of when access is granted, and routinely audits access.

Now, privacy officials from Google, Apple and Amazon are preparing to travel to Capitol Hill next week, for a Commerce Committee hearing.

Who's reading your Gmail? That suspension happens before any user data has been accessed in the "majority" of situations, apparently.

Google says it doesn't get paid for giving third-party apps access to Gmail and checks them thoroughly. You can already disable the feature on mobile right now by heading to the settings for your account and turning off "Smart Replies".


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