Google ties 'Smart' features up in a bow for Gmail

It's calling the new feature another way to put the user in control of their data and the Google experience.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor
Screenshot: Asha Barbaschow/ZDNet

Google has announced a new setting that allows users to control whether data within Gmail, Meet, and Chat can be used to serve up suggestions across its suite of products.

It's calling the function "Smart" features.

"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," it wrote in a blog post penned by product manager Maalika Manoharan.

See also: Most consumers will trade their data for personalization

Although the ability to turn some of these options on isn't new, Google is now bundling it up into a more user-friendly feature, saying it gives 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," the search giant said.

Google reiterated the user remains in control of their data. It said the smart features served up are the result of automated algorithms, not manual review.

"And, Google ads are not based on your personal data in Gmail, no matter which choice you make," it added.

"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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