Google set to deny Gmail access for Swiftkey unless Microsoft updates the keyboard’s data policies

Laurent Giret

Swiftkey on Android

Some Switfkey users who have connected the keyboard to their Gmail account are currently being notified by email that the integration will stop working after July 15, 2019 (via Bleeping Computer). In the email, Google explains that Swiftkey is one of the apps that needs to “comply with our updated data policy requirements,” and that recent API changes have been made as part of “ongoing efforts to make sure your data is protected and private.”

By connecting Swiftkey to a Gmail account, the iOS and Android keyboard can use data from personal emails to offer better word suggestions to users. As noted by Bleeping Computer, the Swiftkey app may have been asking for too many unnecessary permissions such as “Compose and send new email” or “View, manage, and permanently delete your mail in Gmail,” prompting Google to step in.

To prevent app developers from abusing permissions, Google recently updated its User data policy to mention that devs should “only request access to the minimal, technically feasible scope of access that is necessary to implement existing features or services in your application, and limit access to the minimum amount of data needed.” This is probably for the better, and we hope Microsoft will implement the necessary changes before July 15 so that the Gmail integration in Swiftkey will continue to work after that date.