Google said in a letter to senators that it still allows app developers to scan and share data from users' Gmail accounts.
The letter, which was sent in July in response to questions posed by top Senate Republicans about potential misuse of information in user emails, said that while Google stopped scanning emails for ad targeting, developers still have access to accounts. Google released the email to the public on Thursday.
Susan Molinari, Google's vice president for public policy and government affairs for the Americas, explained that access is restricted.
“Developers may share data with third parties so long as they are transparent with the users about how they are using the data,” she wrote in the letter.
The letter, which was first reported by The Wall Street Journal, also included details on how third-party email apps are vetted, including reviewing privacy policies and monitoring app behavior changes.
Privacy officials from Google, as well as Apple, Amazon, Twitter, AT&T and Charter Communications, are due to speak in front of the Senate Commerce Committee on Wednesday.
Google had previously declined to send CEO Larry Page to a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing earlier this month.
Asked for comment, a Google spokesperson referred The Hill to a blog post from July outlining the company's policies on Gmail data sharing.
Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneThune endorses Herschel Walker in Georgia Senate race Democratic frustration with Sinema rises Senate Republicans raise concerns about TSA cyber directives for rail, aviation MORE (R-S.D.), Sen. Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerPennsylvania Republican becomes latest COVID-19 breakthrough case in Congress Senate Republicans raise concerns about TSA cyber directives for rail, aviation 6 in 10 say Biden policies responsible for increasing inflation: poll MORE (R-Miss.) and Sen. Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranSenate GOP signals they'll help bail out Biden's Fed chair Star gymnasts call on Congress to dissolve US Olympics board Expats plead with US to deliver COVID-19 vaccines MORE (R-Kan.) had sent a letter expressing concern over data abuse to Google in July.
“Furthermore, though no allegations of misuse of personal email data akin to the Cambridge Analytica case have surfaced, the reported lack of oversight from Google to ensure that Gmail data is properly safeguarded is cause for concern," they wrote.
The Cambridge Analytica case, in which a political consulting firm improperly obtained 87 million Facebook users’ data, has been one of the main drivers of concern from the Commerce Committee related to data use.
The letter also questioned how Google would handle third parties, pushing the company to explain what safeguards it implements to ensure personal email content isn't exposed.