Gmail

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…

How to Import and Export Contacts Between Outlook and Gmail

You can use Microsoft Outlook with just about any email account, including Gmail—but Outlook doesn’t provide a built-in way to sync your Gmail contacts. If you’ve amassed a bunch of contacts in either service, you’ll have to import them from the other manually to use them.

You could re-enter each contact one by one, of course, but we recommend importing all of your contacts in one go. In this article, we’ll demonstrate how to first export your contacts from Gmail into Outlook, and then export from Outlook into Gmail.

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How to Export Contacts from Gmail and Import Them into Outlook

To export contacts from your Gmail account, open a browser and log in to your account. Then, click on “Gmail” and then select “Contacts” from the dropdown.

Google is redesigning Contacts and you can try out the Contacts preview (click on “Try Contacts preview” in the menu on the left when viewing contacts in the old version). However, the Contacts preview does not allow you to export contacts yet, so we have to revert to the old version to export our contacts. To do that, click “Go to the old version” at the bottom of the list of options on the left.

Once you’re back in the old version of Google Contacts, click “More” at the top of the page and select “Export” from the dropdown.

Notice, you can export a group, selected contacts, or all your contacts into one of three formats. The export format should be an Outlook .CSV (CSV = Comma Separated Values, which means each field [Name, Address, Phone, etc.] is separated by a comma) file. Select the contacts you want to export, and then select the “Outlook CSV format” option.

Click “Export” to start the export process.

On the Save As dialog box, navigate to where you want to save your contacts CSV file. By default, contacts.csv is entered in the “File name” box as a suggestion for a name, but you can change that, if you want. Then, click the “Save” button.

When the export is finished, you can open the exported .CSV file in Excel and manipulate itby adding addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, and other information that will help round out your address book. While this is an optional step, it’s nice to be able to go through and make your contacts neat and consistent.

When you’re ready, it’s time to import your shiny new contacts file into Outlook. Open Outlook and click the “File” tab.

On the backstage screen, click “Open & Export” on the left and then click the “Import/Export” button.

The Import and Export Wizard dialog box displays. Select “Import from another program or file” under Choose an action to perform and then click the “Next” button.

Select “Comma Separated Values” and click the “Next” button.

Now, we need to select the file to import, so click the “Browse” button.

On the Browse dialog box, navigate to the folder where you saved the .csv file, select the file, and then click the “OK” button.

Under Options, decide whether or not you want duplicates to be imported. You can save yourself time later by selecting “Do not import duplicate items” now. Click the “Next” button.

Select “Contacts” in the Select destination folder box under the email account where you want to save your contacts. Then, click the “Next” button.

The last screen on the Import a File dialog box shows you…