Committee Leaders Seek Information on Google’s Data Privacy Policies

Request follows report that employees of Google developer partners read user Gmails

July 10, 2018

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet, and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) chairman of the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, Insurance, and Data Security today, in a letter to Alphabet Inc. CEO Larry Page, requested information about the privacy policy and practices associated with popular Gmail email service offered through subsidiary company Google. The committee’s information request cites a report in the Wall Street Journal that third party application developers, granted access to Gmail accounts by consumers, have used both human employees and automated systems to read user e-mails for a variety of purposes. 

Excerpt from the letter to Alphabet Inc.:

While we recognize that third party email apps need access to Gmail data to provide various services, and that users consent to much of this access, the full scope of the use of email content and the ease with which developer employees may be able to read personal emails are likely not well understood by most consumers.”

The letter requests a response by July 24, 2018. Click here to read the full letter to Alphabet Inc. TheSenate Commerce Committee exercises jurisdiction over consumer protection and data privacy issues.