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Who’s Reading Your Gmail Messages?


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Are any of our online activities private anymore? That’s the question many people asked after news broke that third-party developers read portions of Gmail messages — and sometimes entire conversations.


This practice affects millions of inboxes — and people who signed up to get service-related emails such as automated travel planning information or material about daily deals were particularly at risk of having their privacy violated in ways they didn’t expect.


One insider said that such practices are common in the tech industry and Google has confirmed they aren’t against the company’s rules. But why are they allowed in the first place?

Reading Emails to Develop a New Feature or Target Users

Edison Software is one of the companies identified here that lets humans read content in Gmail inboxes. It reportedly did so to develop a “smart reply” feature but has revealed it discontinued the practice and got rid of the associated data.


Return Path is another company that read thousands of emails last year while creating an app that analyzes users’ inboxes and pulls data marketers can use. A representative from that company said it took the proper precautions to restrict access to the material retrieved from Gmail inboxes and oversaw the people who pored over that information.

You May Be Granting Permission Without Realizing It

If you’ve ever connected a third-party app to your Gmail account, you might remember a permissions dialogue box that appeared and asked you to allow the app to access things like your contacts and calendar. In some cases, those apps also request permission to read, send, delete and manage your email.


There are a few problems with that reality. The first is that people often don’t carefully check what they agree to when consenting to terms and conditions. Edison Software and Return Path both had sections in their privacy policies that mentioned they would monitor emails.


However, many people likely just confirmed the permissions in Gmail and didn’t take the extra step of going to the third-party site to check out the privacy details published there.


Plus, concerning email monitoring, it’s likely people assumed machines would be taking care of the task, not fellow humans. The companies involved did not explicitly get in touch with users before reading their emails because the respective privacy policies gave blanket permission.

Two Ways to Disallow Developer Permissions

You might feel powerless after reading about how developers could have read your emails. Perhaps you’ve even pondered deleting your Gmail account during the backlash. Fortunately, you don’t have to stay in the dark regarding the information Gmail has about you — or, most importantly, in this case, the permissions you gave third-party developers.


Google has a “My Activity” portal that shows all the information the company tracks and stores about you. It also allows you to check out ad settings and location or device histories and see records of every website you’ve visited and YouTube video you’ve watched.


Similarly, Google’s Security Checkup page allows you to see all third-party apps with access to your Gmail data and separates them into high-risk and low-risk categories. Disallowing access is as simple as clicking the “Remove Access” button associated with each app.


You can also go to your Google account settings and revoke developer permissions there. Find the “Apps With Account Access” link under the Sign-In & Security menu on the left side of the screen. Proceed to click the “Manage Apps” button to tweak your permissions as desired.

Google Can Read Your Emails, Too

This recent development centered on third-party app developers. When responding to the issue, Google clarified that those entities get vetted and must pass an approval check. Additionally, they cannot read emails if the app they’re developing doesn’t relate to email.


A Google representative also said that Google representatives do not read users emails. However, information immediately following that statement specified that Google workers could, in fact, read your emails in specific cases, such as when it’s necessary to do so for security purposes or after getting permission from the people in question.


Notably, the blog post published by Google about this matter doesn’t specify that the company gets permission in the former instance, which might understandably cause you to have further doubts.

Is It Safe to Use Gmail?

Knowing what you do now might make you resistant to using Gmail even after checking the developer permission specifics. However, it’s important to keep a balanced perspective and remember that Gmail has features rarely offered by other providers.


One of them is a confidential mode that lets senders set expiration dates for messages, and it’s available to anyone with the most current version of Gmail.


Users can also opt for Advanced Protection, which safeguards people with personal Gmail accounts from targeted attacks via physical keys used within the two-step authentication process. It’s geared towards people who are activists, journalists or in abusive relationships, for example.

Let Information Empower You

The news of third-party developers potentially reading your emails is undoubtedly concerning. Fortunately, you now know how to check permissions you’ve granted and remove them if that’s preferable. It’s also wise to be especially careful before agreeing to terms and conditions to know what you allow when linking an app.


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The best way to keep people from reading you're Gmail is dont use Gmail but you can't trust any email that's unencrypted that someone is not reading it.  Google still tracks  everyone regardless  if there signed  in or not.. Just like when we  make a post because they have bots that post it all over the internet because it's a open forum . And the reason i dont sign into Google services  is they create a profile on you  were they can tell it's you if you use a vpn ,tor or anything else and any info they have on you even if you not done something  they will hand it over too the police, I dont sign in anymore since before they changed there privacy policy  years ago so that's the masses problem and one day it may bite them in the butt when they end up in the news for being accused of something.  :P



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Decrypt it at https://encipher.it

Go to https://encipher.it/

Copy and everything in the codebox and 

use nsanemdown.com as the cipher 



or agree both to use an online or offline encrypter (lots of them on the web)

agree to a common cipher and send your message encrypted..



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The only way encryption works  is the other person can decode it  and they use encryption.. How many people in the real word are this paranoid ?  Best thing is just dont use there services and still to people i know that use gmail if i send them a email Goggle still has a record  of my email. 


In the US  all they have to do  is place you near were something happened and they can get warrants too search 100s of people in a city were a  crime scene happened at  data and it  will be a canary warrant were google want be able to disclose the info.


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Real harsh solution.. Steven...

Wasn't  there a court resolution that an IP or Physical address did not merit hard evidence?

In a case against a movie pirater... It think it was an Expendibles movie that was used as a honeypot.. Say someone used your wifi and download some illegal stuff .. You are not liable for the charges because you didn't do the deed.. 



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People walk around with a location tracker in there pocket they use to sell drugs and commit other crimes  that is tied to Google or Apple all they need is a search warrant, it dont matter were you go even in the Hood this is a way of life.  The generation today is stupid  is as stupid does and that's why the prisons are full . Back in my day they used pay phones this generation today don't even have sense enough to use a burner phone to commit crimes they do it on a smart phone registered under there name.

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No in the USA  you can go to Walmart and other stores and buy them most people dont use them to blow things up . You  just pay for a card, they sell them in gas stations and most any store for how many phone minutes you want  and punch it in they cant be traced  .




Maintains your privacy

While you might think a "burner phone" is something only a criminal may use to avoid being tracked by authorities – such as the drug dealers on a show like The Wire – law-abiding citizens may also appreciate the privacy awarded by a burner phone.


For example, you might not want to use your main phone number if you’re posting items on Craigslist or another classifieds site. After all, you’re opening up the possibility of unwanted calls or texts from strangers on your personal line. Instead, when the transactions are completed, you can simply dump (or “burn”) the temporary phone.


Burner phones are also desirable to those who use dating apps, as you might not want to give out your primary number to someone you don’t end up with. Sure, you can block someone on your main phone, but they could still contact you from another number.


Burner phones can be bought with cash and with no contract, plus providers that sell these devices don’t track personal data. Anonymity isn’t fully guaranteed, however, as burner phones can still be located over a cellular network by the temporary phone number, or logged whenever you call someone else’s phone via their carrier.


Other advantages

Aside from privacy, there are other reasons why you might consider a burner phone:


For emergencies: Thanks to a FCC mandate, every mobile phone must be able to dial 9-1-1 – even if you aren’t signed up with a carrier. Heck, you don’t even need a SIM card in the phone. And so a practical application for a cheap burner phone is to keep it for emergency purposes only. Toss it into your glove box and you’ll know it’s there, just in case.




Its all i  ever uses when i'm away from home. I dont have to pay a monthly bill and only put time on it when i need too.

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Same here in my country.. Last phone bomb at the uni still unsolved...

You can get a burner phone and sim at the fela markets..  no traces


Heck a friend of mine i using 2 burners to cheat on his wife :)




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