Third-parties may read your Google Mail emails if you allow it

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Apart from this, the tech giant has also said that it shows the complete list of permissions to a user before they install an app informing them about what all data will be accessed by the app. Google is asking the users to review the permissions screen carefully before giving access to the apps.

Accurately represent themselves: Apps should not misrepresent their identity and must be clear about how they are using your data.

Google has confirmed it allows some external software developers to read and analyse the inboxes of Gmail users, following scrutiny about privacy on the platform.

"Some people might consider that to be a dirty secret", says Mr. Loder.

The Wall Street Journal originally reported that two apps in particular have admitted to reading emails.

Clients and services may require access; a third-party email client needs access to emails, and an add-on that runs directly on Gmail needs access as well. You always have the option to head over to your settings and remove access to any of the apps that have asked you for permission to read your inboxes to offer you services like email and calendar reminders. Google and these developers need to assure us that they're taking every precaution to protect their users.

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The popular email service, which has more than one billion users around the world, gave hundreds of developers outside the company full access to users' inboxes.

While these kind of apps do ask for user consent, numerous forms don't make it explicitly clear that a human will be reading through your emails, not just a machine. Though there is no evidence that third-party developers have misused the data, knowing that unknown persons can access personal data certainly raises apprehensions. The company has read over 8,000 emails to develop its software.

In its blog post, Google is trying to portray itself as a company that isn't like Facebook that would give access of hundreds of millions of users' data to a random researcher. You should be on the safe side with Google apps, which would include apps like Chrome or Google Maps.

According to Google, it provides data only to outside developers it has vetted and to whom users have explicitly granted permission to access email.

One of the developers mentioned in the WSJ story, Edison Software (formerly EasilyDo), makes an email app that "intelligently manages" your mail from Google or any of a number of other providers.