Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Some Third-Party Email Apps Let Employees Read User Emails

Juli Clover, MacRumors:

Return Path, a service for email marketers that has 163 app partners, two years ago allowed its employees to read approximately 8,000 full customer emails to train the company’s software.

Similarly, Edison Software, a company that makes the Edison Mail app for iOS, had employees read the emails of hundreds of users to craft a new “smart replies” feature.

According to The Wall Street Journal, neither company asked users for specific permission to read their emails, but have said the practice is covered in their user agreements. Employees who read the emails were governed by “strict protocols,” and in Edison’s case, user information was redacted.

I’m still uncertain why anyone would pass their email through any third party like these, nor why either of these companies would think that this is a good idea even if it’s theoretically covered by their privacy policy.