With Gmail being a free email service, it makes sense that Google would need to find a way to make money, right? This is done by showing users ads based on what they like, which in the past Google used to scan the emails of users to see what they might be interested in. Google has since stopped that practice, but not everyone else did.
In a report from The Wall Street Journal (via Business Insider), it seems that third-party developers are still scanning the emails of Gmail users, which apparently have been allowed by Google themselves. To make matters worse, it seems that these scans aren’t necessarily done by computer either as there were some instances where human employees of these developers were the ones doing the scanning.
However it isn’t as nefarious as you might think as these scans were conducted using apps that users would have had to give permission to. According to the report, apparently it has become “common practice” for marketing companies to scan the emails of their users, although we suppose common isn’t necessarily good.
For those who might be concerned about this discovery, you can go to your Google Account’s main page, head to the Sign-in & Security section and select “Apps with account access”. From there you will be able to see all the apps that currently 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.