Privacy is one of the key points that are focused on today in the tech world. The ripples of the offense one felt when they learned about NSA’s snooping after Snowden’s whistleblowing is still felt today. Events like the Facebook Cambridge Analytical Scandal has compounded the paranoia and was the perfect prey for a world that was already afraid of who was going through their information.
In an environment where tech giants and companies have to watch their every step and make sure they dot every I and cross every T, Gmail, despite making promises which promised utmost privacy and security to its users, have gone ahead and allowed third-party developers to go through the inboxes of users who have signed up for newsletters on a lot of websites. But Google has stated that they continue to vet developers and their apps before they open up general access.
Google has stated that it does automatic processing of emails only when they need to reduce spam and phishing attempts. They have also stated that they do not process these emails to serve ads. They have further said that this processing of mail content has been misconstrued as Google reading your emails. Google has stated that it only reads emails in specific cases and that too, only after receiving consent, or for security purposes.
When it comes to vetting app developers, they need to ensure that developers need to only ask for data that is relevant and that too, with clear and prominent disclosures. If you are uncomfortable with the level of access that an app has, and would like to modify, check or completely remove an app integration, Google recommends that users take advantage of the Security Checkup section, as this will allow users to have control over the data access that an app that is linked to your account has.
You will be provided with a platform that allows users to do things like revoke account logins from devices that are dormant, review sign-ins on both Web and mobile, and also to update your recovery methods.
You can set your permissions by visiting the permissions page in your Google account, the keyword that you need to look for is “have access to Gmail,” which will reveal to you exactly what it suggests. But there is no option available that allows you to shut down the access Gmail has to your account. The only thing that you can do is completely bar the app from having any access to any data that is available from your Google Account. This includes the features like Google Contacts, Drive, Calendar, Hangouts, Google+, and much more.
In the light of recent controversies and the heightened focus on security, Google will definitely turn their attention towards improving the system that is in place that focuses on privacy. This will most likely focus on selective filtering, If you happen to be a Gmail user and you are a part of G Suite, you will have to rely on admins who will be able to whitelist apps that are not by Google.