Google's Gmail controversy is everything people hate about Silicon Valley

Gmail opti-in

Google pointed us to Security Checkup, which lets you revoke access from any third-party apps you've given access to, and more recently started flagging apps that ask for a large amount of data. The search giant even rolled out new features for Android users that give them better control over privacy settings in their Gmail accounts.

Google said only companies that had been vetted could access messages, and only if users had "explicitly granted permission to access email".

The issue resurfaced this week after an examination by The Wall Street Journal found that "hundreds" of outside software makers could scan your inbox through third-party Gmail apps.

"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", the report added, saying data miners generally have access to other email services besides Gmail. In 2017, Google said its computers will soon stop reading the emails of its Gmail users to personalise their ads.

It said Facebook for years let outside developers have access but claimed the practice was stopped by 2015.

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The working theory is that this error is something to do with the RCS profile updates that have been rolling out on USA carriers. The T-Mobile update seems to be occurring automatically, and many users may not realize their phones have already updated.

It's obvious what Google apps are - things like Chrome and Drive. From there you will be able to see all the apps that now have access to your Google account, and you can remove some of them if you no longer use them or if you're not comfortable with it.

Gmail is the world's most popular email service with 1.4 billion users.

Nearly exactly a year ago, Google promised to stop scanning your inbox to serve up ads in Gmail, but as the Journal's article details, executives of the vetted third-party companies claimed that their employees would read millions of emails and that it was "common practice".

You can remove access for any service or application listed on the page and should do so for any that you don't use. An executive at another company said employees' reading of emails had become "common practice".

Fatemeh Khatibloo, and analyst at Forrester, said tech companies need to make clear to users what the tradeoff is for receiving services for free. At one point, the company's employees apparently used to read about 8,000 uncensored emails to help train the company's software. The Journal mentions two companies that have such practices in place, including Return Path, a marketing company, and Edison Software, which makes a mobile email app.

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