Google will soon let you opt out of Gmail’s data-hungry smart features entirely

Google is adding a new option to let users opt out of having their Gmail, Chat, and Meet data used to offer smart features like Smart Compose and Smart Reply, the company announced today. Although you’ve previously been able to toggle these individual features on and off, the new toggle disables the background data processing that makes them possible. Google says the new option will roll out “in the coming weeks.”

According to images posted on Google’s blog, Gmail users will be shown two dialog boxes showing the data processing. The first concerns smart features offered within Gmail, including automatic email filtering / categorizations, Smart Compose, summary cards shown above emails, and extracting event details to create calendar entries. Google says that users won’t be able to access these features if they opt out of the data processing that makes them possible.

The first toggle controls data used for Gmail, Chat, and Meet features.
Image: Google

While the second covers how this data is used in other Google products.
Image: Google

Meanwhile, the second dialog box allows users to opt out of having their Gmail, Chat, and Meet data power other Google products like the Assistant (which can display reminders about bills when are due), Maps (which can show restaurant reservations), and GPay’s loyalty cards and tickets. If you decide to turn them off, they can be enabled again in Gmail’s settings, Google says.

Google says that the new setting will be offered alongside the existing options to enable or disable each of these features individually. However, users will not be given granular control over the data processing behind individual features, Google tells The Verge, meaning you cannot opt out of data processing for Smart Compose while continuing to use summary cards. This is because all the features are powered by the same data, the company says.

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