Google's new changes bring centralized privacy controls to Gmail, Chat, and Meet

Google Pixel 4a
Google Pixel 4a (Image credit: Ara Wagoner / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google's is adding a new set of centralized settings for Gmail and its various "smart" features.
  • These new settings will provide clearer explanations of what it's using your data for when you enable these smart features and let you easily disable them.
  • It's rolling out over the next couple of weeks.

Google is rolling out new controls for data privacy to Gmail, the company announced on Monday. For the past year, Google has been rolling new "smart" features that speed up your productivity. Tools like Smart Reply, Smart Compose, and so on build off your existing data to make suggestions based on your past account activity. Google can also use your data from Gmail to inform routes in Maps, events in Calendar, automatically generate reminders, and so on.

Google's new Settings page will make all of that more immediately obvious. It will also give you the option to turn this use of your data off with an explanation of the effect your various choices would have on these tools.

Google says that this new change is informed both by consumer research and conversations with regulators regarding data privacy.

Gmail Permissions

Source: Google (Image credit: Source: Google)

Google's Maalika Manoharan, Product Manager of Gmail Web explained:

As with all Google products, Gmail, Meet and Chat are secure-by-design to help protect your data and safeguard your privacy. As before, these smart features are provided by using automated algorithms, not manual review. And, 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.

These changes are launching "in the coming weeks,"

Michael Allison