Google introduced a new setting that users can deploy to control whether data within Gmail, Meet, and Chat can suggest products across the company’s products suite. The function is called ‘Smart’ features.
In a blog post written by Maalika Manoharan, the product manager, users are encouraged to envision it like tabbed inbox, Smart Compose, and Smart Reply in Gmail. In addition to that, there will be reminders when your bills are due in the Google Assistant and restaurant reservations in Google Maps.
The ability to turn some of these options on is not new, but it is now getting more user-friendly.
User-friendliness is front and center
Google is making it user-friendly because it gives users a choice over the data processing that makes the suggestions possible. The new setting will reduce the work of understanding and managing the whole thing.
The company says that it has learned from user experience research and regulators that it should emphasize comprehensible and actionable choices for users over data. Google says that the users will remain in control of their data.
The entire process is a result of automated algorithms and not manual review. The post adds that Google ads are not based on your Gmail data, regardless of the choice you make.
You make the choices
If you decide not to use the smart features and personalization, you will still have no problem using other products. If you decide later that the features are helpful and you would like to turn them on, go to Gmail settings.
As time goes by, more and more people will probably demand control over their data and how it is used to advertise to them. Government antitrust and digital laws will change to accommodate all of that.