Third-party app developers scan through your Gmail

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The report said, "Google does little to police those developers, who train their computers - and, in some cases, employees - to read their users' emails". As part of the new updates, Google introduced a new search functionality that enables users to find settings and other info they might be looking for in their account, like how to change the password. Like Android phone applications, when a user signs up to a service or platform they will be shown a message that asks permission for access to a range of data.

Last year, Google said that it will keep the privacy of its users paramount and would stop its computers from scanning the inboxes of Gmail users for information to personalize advertisements. It may do some internal testing to make sure of this, as well. There is also no option to deny certain access, it is always an all or nothing type of situation.

Two of its artificial-intelligence engineers signed agreements not to share anything they read, [CEO Mikael] Berner says.

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While messages are typically processed by computer algorithms, the newspaper spoke to several companies where employees had read "thousands" of email messages.

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. All the top tech companies are under pressure in the United States and in Europe to do more to protect user privacy and to be more transparent about any parties with access to people's data. "To be absolutely clear: no one at Google reads your Gmail, except in very specific cases where you ask us to and give consent, or where we need to for security purposes, such as investigating a bug or abuse". "Signing in with Google" apps use your Google Account to sign into other website or apps. However, Google still grants that same access to third-party app developers. If you use the email client Thunderbird for example, you may see it listed as a third-party app with account access.

"Overall there should be no surprises for Google users: hidden features, services, or actions that are inconsistent with the marketed goal of your application may lead Google to suspend [access]".

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