Companies that Scrape Your Email
Motherboard has a long article on apps—Edison, Slice, and Cleanfox—that spy on your email by scraping your screen, and then sell that information to others:
Some of the companies listed in the J.P. Morgan document sell data sourced from “personal inboxes,” the document adds. A spokesperson for J.P. Morgan Research, the part of the company that created the document, told Motherboard that the research “is intended for institutional clients.”
That document describes Edison as providing “consumer purchase metrics including brand loyalty, wallet share, purchase preferences, etc.” The document adds that the “source” of the data is the “Edison Email App.”
A dataset obtained by Motherboard shows what some of the information pulled from free email app users’ inboxes looks like. A spreadsheet containing data from Rakuten’s Slice, an app that scrapes a user’s inbox so they can better track packages or get their money back once a product goes down in price, contains the item that an app user bought from a specific brand, what they paid, and an unique identification code for each buyer.