Email

Astro, an AI Email App, Is Here to Help You Finally Clean Out Your Inbox

Every unwanted promotion/newsletter/coupon that shows up in your inbox is a reminder that you should really get your unread messages under control. But after ending up on dozens of useless mailing lists over the years, it can be hard to know where to start. The creators of Astro understand you’re overwhelmed, and they’ve programmed an algorithm to help.

As Fast Company reports, the new app uses artificial intelligence to anticipate how you’ll respond to the messages flooding your email. If there’s someone you correspond with regularly, for example, Astro will notice and automatically prioritize their emails. If you suddenly stop responding to an email chain, Astro will send you a reminder in a chat bot window, highlighting any…

Unroll.me Has Been Selling Your Email Data—Here’s How to Make it Stop

There’s a familiar saying in the tech world: If you’re not paying, you’re the product. Which means, if you’re not paying to use a service, the company providing it has to be profiting in a different way, and that’s usually by selling the data it collects on its users to third parties. This is perfectly legal—you give the company permission to do so by signing off on its terms of service. As The Intercept highlighted earlier this week, the latest tech company to catch flak for giving away data on its often unwitting customers is Unroll.me, a service that helps you organize and unsubscribe from email newsletters. If you’re a user, it’s probably time you revoked its access to your information. But doing so, unfortunately, is a little more complicated than just deleting your account on the site.

The initial revelation came out as part of a New York Times profile on Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, which revealed that Uber bought information on Unroll.me users from a data analytics…

Unroll.me is Selling Your Information, Here’s an Alternative

Have you ever used Unroll.me, the web service that helps you unsubscribe from newsletters in bulk? If so, your emails have been scanned by that company and sold to third parties including Uber. There’s a chance they’re scanning your emails right now.

If you want to switch tabs right now and remove third-party access to your email account, I don’t blame you. It’s the first thing I did when I found out. Come back when you’re ready, though, because I know you’re curious how Uber is involved.

You might be aware that Uber is having, shall we a say, a difficult few months in the public relations department. The latest incident is a New York Times profile of CEO Travis Kalanick, which reveals the company was fingerprinting iPhones against Apple’s terms of service—Apple CEO Tim Cook reportedly threatened to pull Uber out of the App Store altogether over it. That’s what made headlines yesterday, but scroll down a little further and you’ll find this tidbit about a company called Slice Intelligence, which Uber hired to do market research.

“Using an email digest service it owns named Unroll.me, Slice collected its customers’ emailed Lyft receipts from their inboxes and sold the anonymized data to Uber,” the article states.

We Got Played

I used Unroll.me many years ago. If you’re anything like me, a few things came to mind after reading about this.

  • Wait…Unroll.me is owned by a market research company? When did that happen?
  • That company scans people inboxes for reasons other than finding newsletters?
  • Does this thing still have access to my emails?

When I first started using Unroll.me, it was a two-person startup. I had no idea the service was still enabled on my Gmail account all these years later, and I had no idea that a market research company with a villainous name had since bought the service.

I’ll admit it: I got played. I feel betrayed. And I’m not the only one.

@nickoneill @Unrollme @johnsheehan Wow, I’ve been using @Unrollme for years, this is very unsettling. Looks like it’s back to the old Gmail filters. Not cool…

— Robbie Jack (@devevangelist) April 23, 2017

I apologize to whomever I’ve recommended @Unrollme to over the past couple of years

— Dvir Volk (@dvirsky) April 24, 2017

An uproar against Unroll.me quickly surged, and with good reason.

Is This Legal?

This is completely legal. Unroll.me doesn’t exactly go out of its way to advertise that it’s selling anonymized information from your inbox to third parties, but the information is there for anyone willing to dig for it. The Unroll.me privacy page specifically allows…

Unroll.me, the Email Unsubscription Service, Has Been Collecting and Selling Your Data

Yesterday, The New York Times went deep into some of Uber’s shady business practices. In the article, one small section revealed that one service we’ve talked about extensively over the years, Unroll.me, has been mining and selling off your email data, and Uber used that data to gain intelligence on Lyft.

In this case, Uber was buying data collected from one company to give them an edge over their rival, Lyft. Here’s the Times for background info:

They spent much of their energy one-upping rivals like Lyft. Uber devoted teams to so-called competitive intelligence, purchasing data from an analytics service called Slice Intelligence. Using an email digest service it owns named Unroll.me, Slice collected its customers’ emailed Lyft receipts from their inboxes and sold the anonymized data to Uber. Uber used the data as a proxy for the health of Lyft’s business. (Lyft, too, operates a competitive intelligence team.)

Slice confirmed that it sells anonymized data (meaning that customers’ names are not attached) based on ride receipts from Uber and Lyft, but declined to disclose who buys the information.

Slice Intelligence is a data collection and analytics service on the service. It turns out that it also owns Unroll.me, a service that makes it easy to unsubscribe from newsletters you don’t want and that we’ve recommended multiple times, and Slice, a package tracking app that happens to be our favorite app for doing so on Android and iPhone.

How to Change the “Reply To” Address for Email Messages in Outlook

Sometimes, when sending an email, you want the replies to go to a different email address than you sent the original from. You can do this in Outlook for individual messages or for all messages sent from a specific email account.

Say your boss asks you to send out an email about an upcoming meeting and he wants to know about any replies that come in from people saying they can’t attend. You can forward all replies to him, send him a summary of all the replies, or you can just have the replies go to him in addition to yourself.

If you use one email address for sending emails, but you always want to receive replies at a different email address, you can change the reply to email address for the account from which you send emails, so replies to all emails sent from that account are redirected to the other email address.

NOTE: If your email account is an Exchange account, which is typically a work or school email account that is provided through Microsoft Exchange Server, you most likely will not see the options for changing the reply to address that we discuss in this article.

We’ll show you how to change the reply to address first for individual email messages and then for all emails sent from a specific account.

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How to Change the Reply To Address for an Individual Email Message

To change the email address to which replies are sent for an individual email message, open Outlook and select the account in the left pane from which you want to send the email. Then, click the “New Email” button in the New section on the Home tab.

Add email addresses or a contact group to the To, Cc, and Bcc boxes as needed, enter a Subject, and type the message. Then, click the “Options” tab.

In the More Options section, click the “Direct Replies To” button.

Make sure the “Have replies sent to” box is checked (it should be by default). The email address for the currently selected account…