A creepy security bug on Gmail for Android is finally getting a fix

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Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Well, we certainly didn’t expect Google to ask for this data.

Some Android users have been experiencing a weird bug in their Gmail app that demands access to “Body Sensors” before allowing them to send email.

After trying to send an email, an error message pops up: “This app won’t work properly unless you allow Google Play services’ request to access the following: Body Sensors.”

Here’s the deal: Google Play Services is a core Android app that provides functionality like authentication and synchronized contacts across Google apps. It can also enhance apps by speeding up offline searches and providing more immersive maps.

Google Play Services uses the Body Sensors permission for apps like Google Fit, which tracks steps and other fitness activity. But Gmail doesn’t actually use the Body Sensors permission, a Gmail community specialist said on the product forum thread.

The message is a bug that has lingered around for a while now, with the earliest user complaints dating back to 2015. Pressing “Cancel” on the pop-up does not seem to fix the issue and causes the pop-up to show up later.

Image: screenshot

Fortunately, the company is aware of the bug and has worked on a fix.

“The permission request was the result of a bug in the Drive API within Google Play services, which has now been fixed,” a representative from Google said in an email on Monday.

Until the actual fix is rolled out, you can turn off permission for individual apps in Settings > Apps > Navigate to any app > Permissions. If you’re looking for an alternative to Gmail, Inbox is a newer, sleeker email client by Google.

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