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Google Giving Gmail Users More Privacy & Control Over What Data They Mine

In what may be a response to growing criticism over Big Tech’s data-mining practices, Google is now allowing Gmail users to disable background data processing for improved privacy.

The search engine giant is giving users the tools to opt out of their Gmail, Chat and Meet data being used to power smart features and personalisation.

Soon, users will see a new setting which can control if these apps analyse private data or not.

“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,” Google Product Manager Maalika Manoharan wrote in a blogpost.

“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 uses data from these apps to power smart features such as smart reply, smart compose and tabbed inbox, as well as reminders in Google Assistant and calendar events.

Gmail users who opt out of the data processing will not be able to access these features. It can be toggled on and off at the user’s discretion.

Google reiterated that its Google Ads are not determined by Gmail data.

“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 blogpost reads.

“If you decide not to use smart features and personalization, you will still be able to use Gmail and our other products. And if you decide later on that these features are helpful and you’d like to turn them on, you can do so in your Gmail settings.”

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