I have been using Airmail 3 (highly regarded email client from Bloop that you get via the Mac App store) for some time now, but I am not sure how trustworthy they are. What concerns me about the app is how much outbound traffic there is. I use the Little Snitch firewall so I can see how much traffic is coming out of Airmail 3. What I see is close to 1GB over a period of one year. This may seem reasonable at first blush, but I almost never use Airmail 3 to access email. My email provider is Gmail and I access this service through the mail.google.com website for 99.9% of the time. So the question is what is all this data that Airmail 3 is sending? Is it just from the handshake protocol of Airmail asking Google if there is new mail in my inbox?

Of asked Airmail 3 support and they claim to not store any user data (except under one exceptional condition that I did not trigger).

So I don't know what is going on, but I don't like all this outbound communication.

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    I think your question is at risk of being downvoted and/or closed. It appears you're asking opinion-based question. You asked the application developers and they provided the answer. I would think they would know best. What kind of answer are you looking for? – fsb Aug 14 '19 at 20:11
  • If you want a more technical answer, please add how your Airmail 3 is configured and how often it is running (even if you don't use it to collect or send mail). – dan Aug 14 '19 at 20:31
  • The OP reports more outbound packets than can be justified by his little use of Airmail 3. The Airmail 3 developers say they don't store user data. Thus, either a) OP's measurements are inaccurate; or b) the Airmail developers take in data, perhaps use it in some manner or move it along, but don't store it. – DavidSupportsMonica Aug 14 '19 at 21:20
  • dan, My Airmail 3 is configured to only access Gmail. It is set to check email once per minute. I let the app run continuously so it is downloading all my new emails as they come in. But I interact with the app very infrequently (only when I am offline and want to access Gmail). If I look at the traffic via Little Snitch I can see that it communicates every few seconds. I would expect a lot of inbound traffic (which I see) because the Airmail 3 is setup to download the full content of the emails plus attachments. It is only the outbound that is surprising to me. – Rumboogy Aug 17 '19 at 1:49
  • @fsb, My intent was not to ask for opinions, but rather to get a technical answer. I am looking for a method to understand what is the nature of the data that is outbound from this program. Little Snitch could be part of the solution in that it can be used to log traffic but I find the output (of logging) to incomprehensible when looking at it with a program like Wireshark (just seeing a bunch of packets going to various IP addresses is too low level). – Rumboogy Aug 17 '19 at 6:42

Privacy Policy and EULA

You should read Bloop SRL's Privacy Policy and End User Licence Agreement.

Bound by the GDPR

As an Italian organisation, based within the European Union, Bloop SRL is bound by the General Data Protection Regulation which should give you some reassurance.

No absolutes

However, no-one here can answer with absolute certainty that you can trust your information with the organisation. Policies and organisations can and do change.

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  • I had looked at the privacy policy. It indicated that I could receive my data from them if I requested it. So I did request it and that is when they told me (via email) that they had no data (with one potential exception). – Rumboogy Aug 17 '19 at 6:11

I found a method that partially answers my question of where all the outbound traffic is going. In looking at Little Snitch again I realized that I could get aggregate data for traffic to some sites that the program communicates with. This data covers about half of all the outbound data the program has ever sent. I put this info into a spreadsheet and found that 99.4% of outbound data is going to domains owned by Google. So this seems legit.

The only flaw to this method is that it only covers about half of the total data sent since installing the program. But if I assume that this other now opaque traffic followed a similar pattern, then it looks like the behavior of the program is good with respect to privacy.

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