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Google tries to downplay controversy of Developers being able to access your Gmail app

by Felix Omondi

In a new blog post, Google responds to a feature by The Wall Street Journal, which claimed that third-party app developers were able to read and analyzes a user’s Gmail messages. While the blog post does not share some new insights into the controversial industry practice, which appears to be more widespread. Google tries to explain to users of its G Suite how they can better protect their privacy and security.

Google also reiterates its commitment to vetting any third-party apps and services that have access to users’ Gmail data.

The blog post read in part, “A vibrant ecosystem of non-Google apps gives you choice and helps you get the most out of your email. However, before a published, non-Google app can access your Gmail messages, it goes through a multi-step review process that includes automated and manual review 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.”

The blog post was written by Suzanne Frey, the director of Security, Trust, & Privacy division of Google Cloud. Frey also went ahead to share tips on how a user can ensure their data is only in trusted hands. That includes the user having to review the permissions screen before giving non-Google apps the permission to access and use the data from Gmail.

On their end, Google says it has systems in places that ensures third-party apps and services do not misrepresent themselves by saying they are doing one thing, while in reality, they are going over and beyond what they said.

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