Gmail's smart features are set to be tweaked.
It is known that these smart features while offering plenty of flexibility and ease, need a lot of personal data to be effective.
Gmail had hitherto allowed users to review what data had been collected in order to activate smart features, that typically are assistive writing capabilities, high priority notifications, spam blocking, and defence mechanism against phishing and malware from reaching the user’s inbox.
Now Google has introduced a new Privacy Checkup feature that will allow users to easily review key settings and see (and delete) the data that Google collects to provide with smart features.
Google has also announced that auto-delete is the default this year to make control over data even more automatic.
If you decide not to use smart features and personalization, you will still be able to use Gmail and our other products.
You're in control of your privacy: Google
The new privacy feature that allows or stops data collection can be toggled on or off, in accordance with the user’s preference.
Google said: "Soon, you’ll see a new setting for controlling whether your data in Gmail, Meet and Chat can be used to offer “smart” features in these and other Google products. Think: tabbed inbox, Smart Compose and Smart Reply in Gmail; reminders when your bills are due in the Google Assistant; and restaurant reservations in Google Maps."
The ability to turn on (or not) some of these individual smart features is not new. What’s new is a clearer choice over the data processing that makes them possible. This new setting is designed to reduce the work of understanding and managing that process, in view of what we’ve learned from user experience research and regulators’ emphasis on comprehensible, actionable user choices over data, Google added.
Google also clarified that these smart features are provided by using automated algorithms, not manual review. And, Google ads are not based on your personal data in Gmail, no matter which choice you make.
"You remain in control of your data, whether you’re an individual Gmail user or a Google Workspace administrator," the company said.