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Is it possible to have Zapier email parser scan user's emails in a safe way that respects privacy?

  • 22 December 2020
  • 2 replies

So I’m working on a project right now that is supposed to take all order receipts from e-commerce places & parses information to build out an overall trend map of your shopping over the course of the year. The problem is that the API’s for the e-commerce sites are very bad, so I thought the best alternative was to just have an email parser that can find the specific info from those orders for the users interested in using the project.


The real question is does anyone know if this can be done while respecting privacy/safety or ways to ensure there’s a login ability + transparent permission capability like you would see for downloading apps on iOS/android where we can access the users email just to parse only. 

I understanding how to use the parser if I just want to login myself, but how do I ensure people’s passwords are protected if I want to build something like that above? If it’s not feasible or anyone has alternatives, would love to hear as well. 


Best answer by AndrewJDavison_Luhhu 23 December 2020, 13:29

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Userlevel 7
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Hi @ngaurav38 

As you know with Zapier Parser, your inbox has its own unique email address. Surely the simplest way to go about this is to give that address to people and have them setup email forwarding rules from their email so that only specific emails get forwarded.

Userlevel 7
Badge +7

@ngaurav38 keep in mind Emails are not secured (due to the protocol itself) you would need a pgp or somethingelse. If it comes down to regulatory or security point of view, basically to forward an email is technical a good solution and @AndrewJDavison_Luhhu is providing a good solution, but if you check GDPR ART. 32 you could lag encryption to process the data. In Google Mail and in MS exchange you can filter against specific words in emails, then you move them internally to an specific address within your tenant (so you stay e.g. on Google Servers) and from there you listen for new emails in zapier and regex the data you need. As soon as you start parsing data from an email which by definition comes in unsecured you are anyway not applying to encryption. So I wouldn't advise you to use the email parser if you have a regulatory or critical client. There are workarounds with encryption and data security that comply with gdpr. (Keep in mind this is just a technical consultation not a consultation by law )