Google Simplifies User Data Management With New Gmail Smart Feature Controls

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Controlling where your data goes is vital in online safety and security. Unwanted data leakage and breaches are the bane of an online person’s existence, and Google is looking to make the privacy more manageable. In the next few weeks, Google will be rolling out toggle controls for Gmail's smart features and personalization.

Smart features, such as smart compose, smart reply, or reminders in Google Assistant for things are part of the incredibly useful toolkit Google provides. Being able to toggle them on and off is not new either, but it used to be more complicated. Following user privacy and user data control trends, Google is now making the choices and toggles easier to understand and accessible to all. According to Google, “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.”
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In essence, Google lets the user choose where their data goes, and claims that it wants smart features to be used “because you find value in using them, not because they’re simply there.” If you chose not to use the smart features, “you will still be able to use Gmail and our other products” as usual, and the features could be turned on later should you chose.

Though this feature likely stems from European legislation on user data, it is a nice addition to see. Knowing where data is going is essential and should be on everyone’s mind when using anything online. Google is making it easier to track your data, and hopefully, other companies will follow suit soon.