The big picture: How tech companies snoop through your messages

A phone screen with the Gmail app logo on it before the Google logo on a wall.
Photo: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Internet giants are letting software app developers scan through their email users’ inboxes when they’ve signed up for email-based services such as shopping price comparison services, WSJ reports.

Why it matters: The common practice is supposed to make software algorithms better so they can function better for users — but the users don’t appear to be made aware their emails are being read or asked if they would sign off on that in the first place. And companies that have said they’re not using this practice anymore still are.