Google still allows third-party apps scan your Gmail data

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Google is defending its coverage to permit third-party apps to entry and share knowledge from Gmail accounts, in keeping with a letter made public Thursday.

Gmail, which has over 1.four billion customers globally, lets third-party builders combine providers into its e-mail platform, akin to journey planners and customized relationship administration programs.

“Builders could share knowledge with third events as long as they’re clear with the customers about how they’re utilizing the info,” Susan Molinari, VP of public coverage and authorities affairs for the Americas at Google, stated within the letter to Senators, which was obtained by CNNMoney.

Google additionally makes “the privateness coverage simply accessible to customers to overview earlier than deciding whether or not to grant entry,” she stated. Customers can view or take away app entry on their Google Account web page — or they will select to not obtain the app.

Final yr, Google (GOOG) stopped scanning Gmail account emails for promoting functions. Within the letter, Molinari additionally famous that no human staff learn customers’ Gmail besides in “very particular instances the place they ask us to and provides consent” or for safety functions, like abuse investigations.

The letter was despatched in July to lawmakers together with Senator John Thune, a South Dakota Republican who chairs the Senate Commerce Committee.

The corporate famous within the letter that it has a course of in place for figuring out apps that misrepresent themselves or aren’t clear about how private knowledge is used. Google says it is ready to droop these apps within the “majority of instances” earlier than they’re allowed to entry knowledge. Nonetheless, it is unclear what number of malicious apps have been eliminated.

The letter comes amid mounting issues about on-line privateness and heightened authorities scrutiny of know-how firms.

The Senate Commerce Committee is scheduled to query Google, Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL), AT&T (T), Constitution Communications (CHTR) and Twitter (TWTR) on Wednesday September 26 about safeguards for shopper knowledge privateness. (AT&T is CNNMoney’s guardian firm).

In July, the Wall Avenue Journal reported software program builders scan a whole lot of million of emails of Gmail customers who’ve signed up for email-based providers like journey itinerary instruments.

In response to the report, Google launched a weblog put up about Gmail privateness and safety. When requested for additional touch upon Thursday, a Google spokesperson referred CNNMoney to that weblog put up.

The corporate stated within the weblog put up that non-Google apps should endure a overview course of earlier than they will entry customers’ Gmail messages. For instance, there’s an automatic and guide overview of the developer, testing of the app and an evaluation of its privateness coverage and homepage to research whether or not it is official. The weblog put up additionally inspired customers to overview the permissions display screen earlier than permitting non-Google apps entry to knowledge.

CNNMoney (New York) First revealed September 20, 2018: 5:32 PM ET

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