Gmail Users' Emails Read by Developers

Gmail Users' Emails Read by Developers
App developers reading Gmail users' emails is 'common practice,' according to a former chief technology officer.

(CCM) — Emails containing sensitive personal or financial information can sometimes be read by third-party app developers, Google has admitted.

Several companies stated in a Wall Street Journal report that their staff members read users' messages, and Thede Loder, the former chief technology officer of a company called eDataSource, said in the report that reading Gmail users' emails is "common practice."

Apps that provide services such as travel planning can be linked to a Gmail users' account, with the account holder's permission. This allows the apps to take information from incoming emails, such as flight and hotel reservation details, and collate the information within the app.

But even though users are often asked to grant the app permission to "read, send, delete, and manage" emails, most users assume that it will be a computer algorithm running on a machine, not a real person, that reads their emails.

Google says that only companies (but not individual staff members) that it has vetted can access users' messages, and only if the users have granted the app permission to do so.

Google says that any account holder who is concerned about third party access to their emails can visit its Security Check-up page to see if any apps have permission to read their messages, and revoke that permission if they wish.

Gmail is the biggest email service in the world with over 1.4 billion users.

Image: © Alexey Boldin -