Chrome Extension Permissions
These are the permissions that you are requested to all when you install the Sortd Chrome Extension.
Although Sortd is implemented as a Smart Skin it runs as a Chrome Extension, which themselves require permissions. In Sortd's case, Chrome shows that Sortd needs access to your browsing history. This is somewhat misleading, in that Sortd does not actually access your browsing history; indeed it does not request such access, but rather requests access to Tabs so as to know when to load or not, but Chrome internally may use the browsing history to make that decision. What ever the technical reason, Sortd does not read your browsing history.
The other permission is to read/change/delete your data on mail.google.com (which is Gmail) and app.sortd.com (which is the Sortd backend). These permission are required for Sortd to interact with both the Web interface for Gmail and communicate with the Sortd backend infrastructure.
Google OAuth Permissions
These are the permissions you grant when logging in to Sortd for the first time.
Even though Sortd runs as a Smart Skin there are certain things Sortd needs to be able to do to interact with your email which cannot be done simply through the Gmail web interface and hence Sortd needs access to your Gmail/Google Apps email account. Sortd does not need your email password as it uses the security system called OAuth provided by Google/Gmail itself. This means that you tell Google that you are happy for Sortd to interact with your email account and they will consequently grant access when Sortd attempts to process any action against your email account. The benefit of this approach is that should you decide that you no longer want Sortd to have access to your email, you simply deny permission through Google, and Sortd will cease to have access. As Sortd never knew your password in the 1st place it cannot gain access to your account until you enable permissions again. This has become an industry standard and you will no doubt have seen that you can in fact even use OAuth to login to other 3rd party services using your Facebook, Twitter or Google credentials, and each of these 3rd party services therefore has no control over their access to your details unless (and for as long as ) you provide access through Facebook, Twitter or Google respectively.
Consequently Sortd will request access to your email (which will include knowing basic information about you) and will request Offline access which allows Sortd to perform many actions such as unSnooze-ing email even when you are not in front of your computer using Sortd.
Sortd needs permissions to access your email in order for it to work. Google will ask you to give Sortd various permissions, including the ability to manage your email. The permissions are required, because of the way the permissions system works on Gmail. Sortd does NOT read the content of email, Sortd will NEVER delete your email unless you specifically ask it to. Sortd does need the send permission, not because Sortd sends emails from your account to others, but because Sortd will reply on your email to you (like emailing yourself) when you set Snooze on an email or set a reminder on an email/task.
Sortd does not read the Body of your email, though the permissions from Gmail are not fine grained enough to limit us from doing so, so in theory we could, but it is not in our interest to do so. We do not sell customer data, anonymized or otherwise. We do not parse email bodies to provide any Sortd functionality, nor are there currently any intensions to do so.