Users who have been using Unroll.me service might be taken aback to find out what methods Unrollme Inc. company used to monetize their free service. The email management tool is known for its ability to scan email accounts in order to provide the user with a list of subscriptions and allow to unsubscribe from them. According to the company, it delivers a whole new email experience without any junk mail. However, recent reveal by The New York Times shows that this company wasn’t so immaculate. It turns out that Unrollme Inc. deliberately collects certain data from email accounts and then sells anonymized data to other businesses, for example, Uber. According to a post by The New York Times, Uber has put a lot of effort one-upping its rivals, one of them being Lyft. It turns out that Uber bought data from analytics service titled Slice Intelligence, which owns Unroll.me. The analytics service collected Lyft’s receipts from user email folders, anonymized them and sold to Uber.
Following the reveal, Jojo Hedaya, who is CEO of Unroll.me, decided to publish an apology. The head of the company that has access to thousand of email accounts states that it “was heartbreaking” to see that their activity did upset some users, however, the tone of the message shows that he does not feel guilty about selling user data at all. Instead, Jojo Hedaya “feels that the company wasn’t explicit enough” and promises to be more open about user data collection and usage, however, comments below the announcement called “We Can Do Better” show that users are extremely angry. They reprehend company’s activity and share doubts regarding Unroll.me’s claims that data collected about them was anonymized. One after another, users promise to revoke Unroll.me access to their email accounts, asking the company to delete their data right away.