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Is Gmail safe? Google is Allowing Third-party App Developers to Scan Through Your Account

Gmail has nearly 1.4 billion users globally -- more users than the next 25 largest email providers combined

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Google's drone delivery project set to 'take off' in Australia. Pixabay
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Despite assuring users to “remain confident that Google will keep privacy and security paramount”, the search giant is still reportedly allowing third-party app developers scan through Gmail accounts, the Wall Street Journal has claimed.

Google “continues to let hundreds of outside software developers scan the inboxes of millions of Gmail users who signed up for email-based services offering shopping price comparisons, automated travel-itinerary planners or other tools,” the report said late Monday.

Google was yet to comment on the report.

Gmail has nearly 1.4 billion users globally — more users than the next 25 largest email providers combined.

“Google does little to police those developers, who train their computers– and, in some cases, employees — to read their users’ emails,” the report further stated.

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Gmail. Pixabay

According to Google, it provides data only to outside developers it has vetted and to whom users have explicitly granted permission to access email.

According to the report, Google’s own employees read emails only “in very specific cases where you ask us to and give consent, or where we need to for security purposes, such as investigating a bug or abuse”.

“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.

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In 2017, Google said its computers will soon stop reading the emails of its Gmail users to personalise their ads.

The Internet giant recently rolled out new features for Android users to make it easier for them to navigate their Gmail accounts and review security and privacy options.

As part of the new updates, Google introduced a new search functionality that enables users to find settings and other info they might be looking for in their account, like how to change the password. (IANS)

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Now Google Let Users Connect With Businesses Within Maps

Last year, Google enabled users in select countries to message businesses using "Business Profiles" on Google

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A Google logo is displayed at the entrance to the internet based company's offices in Toronto. VOA

Google is rolling out a capability on Maps that would let users connect with business profiles in the nearby locations, helping them with the opportunity to ask questions while looking for things to do and places to go or shop.

“You’ll see your messages with the businesses you connect with via ‘Business Profiles’ in the side menu, within the Google Maps app on both, Android as well as iOS devices,” Aditya Tendulkar, Product Manager, Maps, Google wrote in a blog-post on Wednesday.

For this feature to work as intended, if local businesses were available to accept messages from users, they could install the search-engine giant’s “My Business App” and enable messages.

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Google to let users connect with businesses within Maps. (Representative image) Pixabay

“My Business App” is a free tool that helps small business owners reach more people online and connect with their customers through Google, to escalate the growth of their ventures — much like Facebook “Pages”.

“As long as a local business has enabled messages, you’ll be able to connect with them in a tap. Just look for the ‘message’ button on Business Profiles on Google Search and Maps,” Tendulkar added.

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Last year, Google enabled users in select countries to message businesses using “Business Profiles” on Google, allowing them to send messages to businesses without having to make a phone call.  (IANS)