Google has denied allegations of allowing open access of your Gmail account to third parties, without your permission. While I fail to understand why anybody would allow someone else, especially a separate commercial entity to access their emails, Google has elaborated that third parties cannot do so. Well, at least they don’t let them.

In a blog post published this Tuesday, Google has confirmed that open access is not offered to developers in any case. Access to emails is only provided given user consent has been taken already. Furthermore, they have reiterated that even after a user has given consent to a third-party to access their emails, Google puts them through a tough scrutiny procedure in order to legitimate their organization, their intentions and, their procedures.

In the blog post, Google’s Director of Security, Trust and Privacy commented;

“Before a published, non-Google app can access your Gmail messages, it goes through a multi-step review process that includes automated and manual reviews of the developer, assessment of the app’s privacy policy and homepage to ensure it is a legitimate app, and in-app testing to ensure the app works as it says it does.”

This entire fiasco was set off due to a Wall Street Journal report which alleged that Google gave developers and other commercial entities open access to user emails. Detailing on the accusations, the report said that employees of a firm by the name of Return Path read roughly 8,000 user emails. This contradicts Google’s statement of apparently allowing third-parties to skim your emails (after taking consent) through automated programs.

To set themselves aside and to clarify their stance, Frey said that none of Google’s staff reads users email unless there is a technical bug in the app or the user asks them to. In both cases, user consent is taken beforehand so that the company can steer clear of potential privacy scandals. I’m sure they’re aware (and wary) of the Facebook Cambridge Analytica scandal. After all, I’m sure Google’s CEO wouldn’t like to face committee and parliamentary hearings like Mark Zuckerberg did

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