Google is blocking spam filtering apps from accessing Gmail after July 15

It has come to our attention that Google has decided to not allow spam filtering apps, like Spamdrain, to access Gmail mailboxes any longer. This change will unfortunately prevent us from protecting Gmail users from spam and marketing emails starting as soon as July 15. We are deeply sorry for the inconvenience this will cause all of our Gmail users who will be affected by this move from Google. We’ve done everything we can to resolve this, but Google has refused to cooperate.

In this post we will try to explain what is happening. If you want the short version, just skip to the FAQ at the end of this post.

Background

For the past years Spamdrain has been using the OAuth2 standard to securely access mailboxes of our Gmail users. With OAuth2, the user gives an application access to their Google account (or parts of their account, like the email address) without sharing the actual password of the account. It also provides a smooth setup for the user as all sign in and authentication is taking place on the provider’s website – in this case Google’s. 

Google has now updated its User Data Policy for their OAuth2 APIs, trying to protect its users from malicious apps accessing their Google accounts. From now on apps that use sensitive data from your Google account, needs to be verified and follow certain requirements.

The intention is to ensure that your data is used correctly and to minimize the risk of giving malicious apps access to your account. Overall, this is of course a good thing and we at Spamdrain have been following all requirements set out by Google.

Despite this, Spamdrain will no longer be approved to access Gmail, and the reason is that we are a spam filtering app which they no longer allow. Why? We don’t know and Google refuses to give a proper answer.

The image below is from Google’s FAQ.

FAQ

What happens now?

After July 15 Spamdrain will not be able to protect Gmail mailboxes. If you have a Gmail address filtered through Spamdrain, your filtering will stop. This will not affect domain filtered addresses though. 

It will not be possible to add new Gmail addresses for filtering in Spamdrain. Although you will still be able to use “Sign in with Google” when signing in to your Spamdrain account, only non-Gmail addresses can be added for filtering.

Can I get a refund?

If you have a paid subscription and cannot use Spamdrain because of this move from Google, please contact us at support@spamdrain.com, and we’ll do our best to arrange a refund. Unfortunately we have no possibilities to do refunds for Apple’s In App Purchases – that needs to be done through Apple.

Why such short notice?

According to the information we previously had received, this was not going to happen until December 31, giving us more time to announce this to our users properly.
But now this date has been changed by Google to July 15.

Are there any workarounds?

Unfortunately none that we can recommend at this time. What you could try is to create an app specific password for Spamdrain and configure your filtered address manually in Spamdrain. We don’t know if this will work for all users and even if it works now, we will not be able to tell how long it will work

More info can be found in Google’s Oauth API verification FAQ and User Data Policy.

4 thoughts on “Google is blocking spam filtering apps from accessing Gmail after July 15

  1. If GOOGLE won’t allow you to operate then why the(f) did they offer you in playstore as an app. in the first PLACE? I’m pretty sure I have a prescription. You do GREAT WORK! MIKE PETERSON

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