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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
Google's new Search feature gives single result to certain queries. Pixabay

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.

Gmail
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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Google Planning to Develop a New Publishing Platform For Local News Publishers

According to Google, in Asia-Pacific, journalists and publishers are increasingly grappling with questions over how quality journalism can thrive in the digital age

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Google
Google creating publishing platform for local news publishers. Pixabay

To help small newsrooms overcome challenges in their strive to go digital, Google is creating a new publishing platform for local news publishers.

Google News Initiative has partnered with web development company, Automattic and WordPress.com — home to 30 per cent of the world’s websites — and has invested $1.2 million in its effort to create “Newspack”.

“Newspack” is a fast, secure, low-cost publishing system tailor-made to the needs of small newsrooms, Google said in a statement on Monday.

The new publishing tool will be made available to publishers globally later in the year.

“Newspapers with long histories have had to cut back on staff and reduce coverage and reporters who try to start new digital publications face an interminable struggle with technical and business problems,” said Jim Albrecht, Product Management Director, Google Search.

“Journalists should be writing stories and covering their communities, not worrying about designing websites, configuring CMSs, or building commerce systems.”

Google, smart compose
The Google name is displayed outside the company’s office in London, Britain. VOA

While “Newspack” publishers will have access to all the plugins created by the WordPress developer community, the core product is not trying to be all things to all publishers.

“It is trying to help small publishers succeed by building best practices into the product while removing distractions that may divert scarce resources. We like to call it aan opinionated CMS — it knows the right thing to do, even when you don’t,” explained Albrecht.

Google said it will also advise on the “Newspack” feature set, based on feedback from its extensive contact with local publishers, and provide technical support on the integration of Google products.

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Google News in November launched a new innovation challenge to help scribes and publishers in the Asia-Pacific region produce quality journalism in the digital age.

According to Google, in Asia-Pacific, journalists and publishers are increasingly grappling with questions over how quality journalism can thrive in the digital age. (IANS)