Apple, Yahoo and Google, along with Microsoft, all can read your email at any time, according to reports.
Email providers give themselves a lot of license so that they, like Microsoft, can track down a journalist's Hotmail account and find a source, according to The Guardian. The report said "most Web email services claim the right to read users' email if they believe that such access is necessary to protect their property."
Microsoft's terms of service allowed the Redmond, Wash. company to look up email that protects Microsoft property. It allowed the company to read a journalist's email and find out who the internal leak who contacted the journalist. Now Microsoft said it would have new oversight rules and increased transparency. However, most Web email providers have similar terms of service, including Yahoo, Google and Apple. (Neither Apple, Google or Yahoo commented on the report.)
"The problem is, this is a technically legal activity that we all agree to when we sign up to certain cloud services – whether knowingly or not," Charlie Howe, director of EMEA at Skyhigh Networks, told the Guardian. "For instance, I would guess that most people don’t actually read the full Terms and Conditions before using a new application, and they would probably be surprised by what they are actually agreeing to when they click the ‘accept’ button on certain cloud services."
If this is the case, these Web email services have lost much their users' trust.