I was signing up for a web service when the following prompt showed up:

Granting access to web app

I'm familiar with this process, and I've granted some more finer-grained access to other apps before, but if I recall correctly those all specified WHAT access I was granting. E.g. "Google Calendar: Create and view events". This one doesn't specify anything though.

If I click Grant access am I giving this app permission to do basically whatever it wants to do?

Can it change my password?

Can it go and delete emails if it wants?

  • 1
    Sounds fishy. I know you're blacking out the site to prevent us from knowing what it is, but if you don't implicitly trust that site, I would err on the side of caution and not do it. Asking for access to "Gmail" is pretty vague. I doubt it'd let it change your password, but read your emails? Possibly.
    – allquixotic
    Sep 20, 2012 at 22:15

1 Answer 1


The vaguely named "Gmail" access is pretty much giving the application unlimited IMAP/SMTP access to your account (it provides an OAuth login which merely replaces giving it your password). In essence it is pretty much unlimited permission to your Gmail, so yes they could delete all your emails.

Providing any sort of access to your account will be a risk, but you can always revoke permission through your account's security settings.

You did manage to miss blacking out an instance of the URL - so I can note this question has been asked about that site inconclusively before. The site in question is quite popular these days, so unlikely to do anything terrible.

  • Doh! I scanned that thing several times to see if I missed one! Oh well, live and learn. My concern wasn't that the site in question would intentionally do anything surreptitious; more paranoid that if they got hacked, they might accidentally leak the auth keys. Thanks for the answer!
    – loneboat
    Sep 21, 2012 at 3:58

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