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“Privacy-focused” email clients are scraping your inbox and selling your data to third parties

Nothing is ever “truly” free.

person using email on laptop
Image: Unsplash

Ever wonder just how those “free” email apps stay in business? I mean, development takes cash, right? Well, according to Motherboard’s Joseph Cox, they’re free to you because they’re also scraping your data and selling it to third-parties.

Giving these apps access to your email inboxes in exchange for things like package tracking also gives them all the access they need to monetize your data.

If you’re using one of these popular email apps, your inbox is being scraped and sold to advertisers

Popular email apps like Edison, Cleanfox, and Slice are all scraping your email inboxes and selling anonymized versions of your data to anyone who’ll pay for it. Now all of these companies mention that they “access and process” user emails, which makes sense since the extra features from the email apps do helpful things like package tracking, or letting you mass unsubscribe from those annoying marketing emails. They don’t explicitly say they’re selling your data though, saying things like they’re using your data for “market research.” Yikes.

I guess it’s back to Gmail? At least Google has said it won’t scrape your inboxes for advertising purposes anymore.

What do you think? Surprised these free email clients were selling your data? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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