GOOGLE HAS tried to pour oil on the waters of recent revelations that third-parties may have access to read your Gmails.
As we reported yesterday, a New York Times investigation found that a number of third-party apps for Gmail were offered permissions allowing them to manually read the contents of users' sent and received mail.
Today, in a damage limitation blog post, Suzanne Frey, director of Security, Trust and Privacy for Google Cloud said: "A vibrant ecosystem of non-Google apps gives you choice and helps you get the most out of your email.
In other words - yes, it's happening, but it's being vetted by Google about the accuracy of the way the company represents itself, and that it only requests data that is relevant to a business function.
So in other words, this is no denial, but rather an explanation that they're in control, and you're in control of them.
For G Suite users, there's a White Listing option in the Security Checkup functions. For everyone, there's a reminder that when it asks you for permissions after you download an app, that's exactly what they are - permissions, something you can say ‘no' to and control at a granular level.
The post also reiterates that Google doesn't use emails to tailor ads (any more) and indeed it makes no money from third-party access to APIs.
Finally, Frey hammers home: "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."
Google is not exactly the subject of blind trust for many users and this has shaken confidence, but the company is clear that it is acting with honour and isn't letting anyone do anything that it wouldn't do itself. And then that it doesn't do it anymore. μ
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