Google defends Gmail data sharing, gives details on violation

Google letter admits that it allows developers to collect data from Gmail accounts

Big quote: "In some cases, employees at these app companies have read people's actual emails in order to improve their software algorithms".

Susan Molinari, Google's vice president for public policy and government affairs for the Americas said in the letter, "Developers may share data with third parties so long as they are transparent with the users about how they are using the data".

After angering Congress by conspicuously not showing up for scheduled tech hearings earlier this month, Alphabet CEO Larry Page and Google CEO Sundar Pichai have agreed to attend a separate inquiry planned for next week.

That report won the attention of USA lawmakers, who asked Google to explain what it was up to. She noted that Google is usually able to detect apps that misrepresent themselves before they're given access but did not provide any information about specific companies that have been found to be in violation of its terms.

Google defends its data collection position and policies claiming that it continually and thoroughly vets app developers who are granted such unrestricted access.

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WASHINGTON-Google Inc. told lawmakers it continues to allow other companies to scan and share data from Gmail accounts, responding to questions raised on Capitol Hill about privacy and potential misuse of the information contained in users' emails. The company also disclosed that app developers generally are free to share the.

In some cases, developers of certain apps - for example trip planners - can be directly integrated with Gmail and granted access to utilize user data for their benefit (emails which show when you're going away, for example, in this mentioned case).

This is different than scanning Gmail for data to be used for ad targeting, a practice that Google put a halt to past year. And what's more, the firm is okay with that data being further shared with others, with one proviso - Molinari wrote a letter to Senators stating that: "Developers may share data with third parties so long as they are transparent with the users about how they are using the data".

Gmail, used by 1.4 billion people, is not the only Google service drawing lawmaker questions about oversight.

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