Google Says Its Ads Are Not Based On Personal Gmail Data, Rolls Out Email Privacy Options

Google will roll out an option in the coming weeks that allows users to opt out of having their Gmail, Chat, and Meet data used to offer “smart” features like Smart Compose and Smart Reply.

Gmail permissions are being featured by Google as the next privacy setting. Whatever the choice users make, “Google ads are not based on your personal data in Gmail, Maalika Manoharan, product manager at Google, wrote in a blog post.

Earlier this year, Google advertisers gained the option to buy Product Shopping ads and Showcase Shopping ads for Gmail campaigns in March. They are reported in the Google Display Network.

Standard Shopping campaigns will automatically run on Gmail, when marketers opt in to Gmail, Discover, and YouTube campaigns.

Manoharan explains that automated algorithms, not manual review, make it possible for Google to offer the new privacy feature. A toggle disables the background data processing that makes it possible to collect and use the data, Manoharan explained Monday.

Users remain in control of their data, whether they are an individual Gmail user or a Google Workspace administrator.

The new option will roll out in the coming weeks.

The Privacy Checkup tab allows users to control whether the data in Gmail, Meet, and Chat can offer smart features in the tabbed inbox for Smart Compose and Smart Reply in Gmail, as well as a reminder when bills are due in the Google Assistant and restaurant reservations in Google Maps.

Google’s engineers at the Google Safety Engineering Center in Europe developed the setting, which may have been based on the Global Protection Data Regulations (GDPR).

Auto-delete was introduced as the default to give consumers greater control of their data.

The ability to turn on and off some individual smart features is not new. The setting, which now gives users a choice whether or not the data can be used, is designed to reduce the work of understanding and managing that process.

As with all Google products, Gmail, Manoharan writes, Meet and Chat are secure-by-design to help protect consumer data and safeguard privacy.

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