A recent Wall Street Journal research has found that Google is not doing enough to prevent those developers from reading their users' emails, some of which even train their computers, as well as their employees for the job.
One company told the Wall Street Journal that the practice was "common" and a "dirty secret". However, installing them hands the app developers.
Edison said it has since stopped this practice.
As per the report, Return Path Inc.is one of the said companies which Google allowed.
Google's developer agreement prohibits exposing a user's private data to anyone else "without explicit opt-in consent from that user".
Now You: Do you permit third-party apps access to important data?
Apparently, users who signed up for email-based services, shopping price comparisons and automated travel-itinerary planners using their Gmail accounts, are at most risk of this privacy breach. 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. An executive at another company said that the reading of emails by employees has become "common practice".
Last year, Google assured its users that its computers would stop scanning emails and keep the privacy and security paramount. This is in contrast with what Google promised a year ago, where it said that it would stop reading its users email messages, which might be true, but it has done very little to stop other partner organisations from doing so. Top tech companies are under pressure in the United States and Europe to do more to protect user privacy and be more transparent about any parties with access to people's data. "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".
Some Gmail users may be shocked when they realize that humans may have read their emails on Gmail.
Google's system allows or disallows access to the email data only; the company makes no distinction between algorithms that read emails, for instance to provide functionality, and humans who read it.