In a letter to members of the Senate Commerce Committee, Google acknowledged that it allows app developers to scan and compile details from Gmail messages, including details about purchases, travel, and which other people users interact with. Google says as long as apps clearly disclose this collection they are free to request access to and use Google user data elsewhere.
“Developers may share data with third parties so long as they are transparent with the users about how they are using the data,” Susan Molinari, the company’s vice president for public policy and government affairs for the Americas, wrote in the letter. The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that Google delivered the letter in July. Users are prompted to review and approve data access requests before installing apps, the company said.