Google Accused Of Allowing Third-Party Apps To Read Users’ Gmail
Online privacy has been at the centre stage of a global conversation for quite some time now. Every move by big tech companies is scrutinised for potentially risking the privacy of online users. The latest to join this ever-growing list is Google. One of the biggest tech companies in the world has been accused of allowing third-party apps to read users’ Gmail.
In a report published by The Wall Street Journal, it has been revealed that Google allows partner companies to read Gmail messages in order to offer better products and services. This is not the first time a company has been accused of using private user data for better-targeted advertisements. Facebook was involved in a global controversy after Cambridge Analytica was exposed.
It has been a common practice by many companies to use machines to go through emails for keywords and phrases. This helps them identify what sort of goods or services that particular user is on the lookout for. This data once studied properly allows advertisers to make targeted ads and display them across the user’s web browsing experience. In fact, some companies allow human employees to read through the emails and not rely on machine learning.
Google, too, has been previously exposed for reading emails of users. In 2017, Google promised its users that it would stop reading Gmail content of users. However, this report claims that Google has done little to nothing to preserve the privacy of users. It is also worth noting that Gmail has over 1.4 billion users, making it the most popular email service in the world.
WSJ quoted many representatives of partners that snoop through Gmail, claiming that this is indeed a “common practice.” There are, however, strict rules in place as specified by user agreements.