Google explains Gmail privacy after controversy

Google explains Gmail privacy after controversy

Google explains Gmail privacy after controversy

In their investigative report, it's further alleged that "hundreds" of software developers are able to scan the emails of users who have signed up for apps ranging in type from price comparison tools to travel planners.

Developers whose apps have such access to your account can't change your password, delete your account, or use Google Pay on your behalf, but they can potentially read your email - or have their employees do it. 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.

The Journal cites companies like Return Path, a marketing service that reviewed about 8,000 emails two years ago while working on its software; computers can handle about 100 million messages per day.

Gmail has about 1.4 billion users while Microsoft and Oath, the group formed after Verizon bough Yahoo!, are the next two biggest email providers.

Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc., says it provides data only to outside developers it has vetted and to whom users have explicitly granted permission to access email.

The very first thing that you may want to do is open the Permissions page for your Google Account to make sure that only legitimate applications and services have access to it.

In Google's case, outside developers must pass a vetting process, and as part of that, Google ensures they have an acceptable privacy agreement, The Journal reported, citing a Google representative. 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. It's said to have let workers read "thousands" of emails to help train its app's "smart reply" feature. Email managing firms Return Path and Edison Software are few of the trusted companies.

Not only are emails scanned by automated systems but the employees of these companies are said to collectively read millions of emails, according to executives quoted in the report. These apps only have basic profile information - like your name and email address - so that you don't have to sign up for yet another website account that you have keep track of.

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