The biggest dilemma in my life when a third-party app asks me how I want to use their services – through my Google (GOOGL) account or Facebook (FB). Often, the best option seems to be switching off the computer!
Up till last year, Google (GOOGL) used to monitor e-mails sent by its users to provide personalized advertisements. However, following public outcry over data privacy, the tech giant stopped this practice in 2017. But the latest report by Wall Street Journal suggests that your e-mails are still not private. According to the report, Google continues to allow developers of various third-party apps to access mails sent on its Gmail platform.
The report says, “Email data collectors use software to scan millions of messages a day, looking for clues about consumers that they can sell to marketers, hedge funds, and other businesses.” Though Google has stated that the company vets the developers who have access to private e-mails, this is hardly assuring in a privacy-crisis environment.
Meanwhile, the tech giant also said the company allows its own employees to go through private e-mails in specific cases involving bugs, or a probe into user abuse.
Gmail is the largest e-mail provider with about 1.4 billion users across the globe. The WSJ article states that employees of data solutions company Return Path Inc used as many as 8,000 user mails just to train the software of the company.
The developments happen when major technology companies are facing a backlash over not being able to manage the massive amounts of data it receives every day. Rival Facebook has recently been chastised for its back-to-back data breaches. Both Facebook and Google are also potentially facing massive fines in the UK under the newly launched General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) law.