However, The Wall Street Journal reported this summer that hundreds of outside software developers can still search through your inbox via Gmail add-ons and mobile apps if you've agreed to install them.
A year ago, Google ended its controversial email-scanning practice, which was used to serve up targeted ads.
Google is allowing hundreds of companies to scan people's Gmail accounts, read their emails and even share their data with other firms, the company has confirmed. "Developers may share data with third parties so long as they are transparent with the users about how they are using the data", said Molinari.
The news prompted the Senate Commerce Committee to question Google about its email privacy practices and if any user data was at risk of exposure. The reality is that we've always known third-party apps could read messages in Gmail because they simply wouldn't exist without that capability.
Google said in a letter to USA senators made public on Thursday that it relies on automated scans and reports from security researchers to monitor add-ons after launch, but did not respond to lawmakers' request to say how many have been caught violating the company's policies. All Google asks is that the developers' privacy policies clearly reveal possible uses for this data. If the company detects changes in the app's behavior, it will manually review that app and unverify it if it's determined to be in violation of Google's terms.
To educate users, Google will serve up warnings when a third-party app is installed that'll indicate what data it seeks to obtain from your Gmail inbox, and if the app has been verified. A lot of Gmail users probably didn't realize the contents of their emails could be used in that way.