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Gmail is scanning your emails as you write them – unless you change this setting

AI technology has revolutionized the way we shop, do business, and even receive an education. From chatbots to answer your questions to personalized shopping suggestions, AI technology is all around us. But some retailers are using it in a creepy way to track you. Tap or click here for a list of the offenders.

If you have a Gmail account, you’ve come across another form of AI technology called Smart Compose. It’s similar to predictive text on your smartphone, albeit a little more advanced.

But how does it work? You should be wondering if this feature is something you want. Let’s take a look at this feature and see if it’s something you want to disable. We’ll show you how.

Here’s the backstory

Smart Compose is a personalized, predictive text feature available to all Gmail users. It’s turned on by default when you log in to your Gmail account.

It works by suggesting words or phrases as you compose the body of your email. As Google’s machine learning technology collects data from your writing, your personalized suggestions mimic more and more how you naturally write.

How does Smart Compose learn?

While the predictive text is a handy feature, you have to wonder where it gets the information it needs to mimic you precisely. Well, much like the reasoning behind Google and Facebook being free, its ability to mimic your writing style comes from Google scanning every email you write.

This means Google is storing data from every email you write for future use. If you are sick of Google tracking you, here are some alternatives.

Turning off Smart Compose

If you don’t want Google scanning every email in your inbox, you can turn Smart Compose off. Here’s how:

  • Open Gmail.
  • Tap the gear icon in the upper right corner for Settings.
  • Select Sell all settings.
  • Choose the General tab near the top of the page.
  • Scroll to the Smart Compose section.
  • Turn Writing suggestions off by clicking on the circle next to it.
  • Scroll to the bottom and click Save Changes.

This will turn off Smart Compose, but you’ll still need to turn off the personalization feature to completely keep Google’s prying eyes away from your private emails. Here’s how:

  • Open Gmail.
  • Tap the gear icon in the upper right corner for Settings.
  • Choose See all settings.
  • Tap the General tab near the top of the page.
  • Scroll to the Smart Compose Personalization section.
  • Click the circle next to Personalization off to disable it.
  • Scroll to the bottom and click Save Changes.

That’s it. Your Gmail account is now more secure. Making simple changes in settings like these are great ways to boost security and privacy.

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