Some may remember that last July Google was accused of allowing third-party developers to read our Gmail emails. These allegations came from a report published by The Wall Street Journal in which they showed that it was a common practice among postal providers.
It is a simple method by which users give permission to third party applications, most likely without knowing the extension of those permissions, to access our account, and many use those permissions to collect our data, even to scan our private emails. And in Google they continue to allow these practices.
Again it is The Wall Street Journal who offer us a follow-up to the story, this time with a letter sent by Google to the United States Senate to respond to the concerns of lawmakers about the extension of this privacy issue and the potential use undue of the information contained in our emails.
In the letter, written by Susan Molinari, vice president of public policy and governmental affairs for Google for the Americas, the executive explains that your company allows app developers to scan Gmail accounts and share the results with third parties.
Developers can share data with third parties as long as they are transparent to users about how they are using this data.
Google says it stopped scanning our emails to show us publicity, but others can still do it
Google also explains that they make sure that these policies are easy to find by Gmail users, so that they are able to review before deciding whether to allow the information to be used.
It’s a little ironic that Google having promised to stop scanning our emails themselves to show us advertising, still continue to allow third parties to do so. Many apps do it in search of the names of the products we buy, the contacts we communicate with the most, the places where we travel, etc.
In addition to this, some of the tools that developers use for these practices are offered by Gmail, and make it possible for them to read even the content of users’ emails to fine-tune their algorithms.