New Gmail settings will soon give you more control over your data

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Google, Facebook, Twitter, Windows-10, and Instagram – we’ve already heard all the stories about how these tech conglomerates are vacuuming up your personal data. Some of it gets sold for profit, some of it is given to government agencies to keep track of you, and some of it is simply catalogued to build profiles of your day-to-day behavior.

Everything you just read is true, not some nebulous conspiracy nightmare. Today we’ll address some adjustments Google has made to it Gmail service.

Most notably, Google has come under increased scrutiny regarding how it uses your personal data, and this has led to the introduction of new privacy features across various products and the ability to auto-delete location history and web activity. The company’s latest effort to put users in control of their own data comes in the form of new settings in Gmail.

The first of two new options allows users to turn off the smart features in Gmail, Chat, and Meet in order to protect the data that such features use to do their thing. This means automatic email filtering, smart compose, summary cards, and the adding of event details to your calendar will all be disabled or degraded.

It’s already possible to turn some of these features off, but the new blanket setting is much clearer about how your data is used and will be good for anyone who’d rather Google doesn’t scan the contents of their emails quite so thoroughly. The second option allows you to opt out of having your other Google product experiences personalized using data captured from Gmail, Chat, and Meet.

Ordinarily, the Google Assistant can serve you reminders and other info based on emails you’ve received and Google Maps can show you personalized listing information like reservations pulled from Gmail, among other nifty features that many of us probably take for granted these days. You can now choose to turn these off in favor of limited versions of these products that won’t use your data.

Spying on you through the map location on your phone or you home Google assistant is bad enough. Learn to turn those features off.

Gmail ads will continue to not be based on the contents of your emails, too, no matter what you choose here. While you’ll be presented with a pop-up for these options in the coming weeks, you’ll be able to change your selection at any time in the Gmail settings menu.

Google says that the new setting will be offered alongside the existing options to enable or disable each of these features individually.

All of these changes are not happening immediately, but will be rolled out to users over the next two months.

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