Now You: Do you permit third-party apps access to important data? The popular email service, which has more than one billion users around the world, gave developers outside the company access to inboxes. 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.
While messages are typically processed by computer algorithms, the newspaper spoke to several companies where employees had read "thousands" of email messages.
Letting employees read user emails has become "common practice" for companies that collect this type of data, says Thede Loder, the former chief technology officer at eDataSource Inc., a rival to Return Path. Something else that's unclear is whether Gmail users are fully aware that individual employees may be reading their emails, as opposed to an automated system.
The companies said they didn't ask users about reading their emails because such language is "covered" by their user agreements. Developers swear that manual access is used only оn rare and special occasions and is exclusively to improve customer experience, but we've heard that reasoning enough times to know it's just something PR representatives are forced to say.
Gmail has almost 1.4 billion users globally - more users than the next 25 largest email providers combined.
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