Google has confirmed that it allows third parties to read private emails sent and received by people who have Gmail account – to the full 1.4 billion users around the world. This Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal reported on the "Dirty Tech Secret", witnessed by application companies whose employees admit to having read "thousands" of private messages.
How does it happen? From the moment you associate your account with an application / service – for example to plan trips or price comparisons – the company that manages it has access to your emails. This link generally includes the ability to read, send, delete, and manage the email. This information is used to develop new applications, taking into account the trends and tastes detected, or new software.
Google claims that this practice does not go against its policies, since it is the people who authorize this access when they do the association of your account with the service provider
The Wall Street Journal recalled that, "a year ago, Google ensured that it would prevent its computers from scanning the inboxes of Gmail users for information to personalize advertising, saying that he wanted users to remain confident that Google would maintain privacy and security. "
" Invasion "could be revoked
However, the multinational giant of the internet" continues to allow software creators read the inboxes of millions of Gmail users who signed up for services based on their email, offering comparisons of shopping prices, automatic travel planners, or other tools. "
A Edison Software, for example, told the newspaper that it analyzed emails from hundreds of people to create new software. Another company – eDataSource Inc. – said engineers have already analyzed e-mails to improve their algorithms. The companies said they did not ask users for specific permission to read their Gmail messages because the practice was covered by the contracts.
Speaking to the BBC, Professor Alan Woodward of the University of Surrey, a security specialist, points out that " may very well be mentioned in the contract, but it is not what would be considered reasonable, since a human being from a third party company may read your emails. "
Google has stressed to the BBC that Gmail users can access the page and to see which applications / services have the associated account and to revoke this permission at any time for data sharing.