Google went on the defensive this week after a report revealed instances in which human employees of third-party app developers sifted through Gmail users’ emails.
“No one at Google reads your Gmail, except 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,” Suzanne Frey, director of security, trust and privacy for Google Cloud, wrote in a blog post Tuesday.
But Gmail users who give apps access to their emails do so at their own risk. Frey said third-party app developers go through both automated and manual reviews.
The Gmail questions come in the aftermath of Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal, which highlighted the access that third-party app developers have to Facebook users’ personal information.
In that case, the political data firm accessed the information of up to 87 million users of the social network without their permission after buying the data from a Cambridge University researcher.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg later told news site Vox that the company can “stop messages from going through,” and the company confirmed to Bloomberg that it can scan through Messenger users’ messages automatically.