If you have a Gmail address, be sure to check your mailbox. It contains an email from Gmail itself. “Please specify by January 25, 2021 how your data may be used and shared for Gmail, Google Chat and Google Meet,” it says.
Jan Bouquiaux from Halle also gets the message. He is not sure what to do with it. Next Monday it will be January 25th. He fears that his Gmail account will no longer be accessible if he does not indicate how Google can use his data. ”
Smart functions and personalization
Technology journalist Loutfi Belghmidi has already confirmed that the communication comes from Google itself. “It’s not spam or phishing. The message comes from the company itself.”
But why does Google send that communication? “What Google is doing is anticipating stricter European privacy laws. The European Union wants to punish the major technology companies more severely if they collect too much data from users. Google responds by saying:” Your data is protected when you use different applications. “The company is convinced that you are in control to indicate what you do and do not want to share.”
At the moment, Google collects a lot of data from its users and also links it to the various applications. Belghmidi gives an example. “AIf you book a ticket to travel via Google Chrome, you will automatically receive a reminder in your calendar. To be able to do that, Google needs your data. But Google also knows that you are going on vacation at that moment. ”
Responding to a sense of lack of privacy
The company has already collected and bundled data from us in the past. With the new announcement, Google wants to allow Gmail, Google Meet and Chat to communicate better with each other. It is no coincidence that Chat and Meet are applications that are widely used nowadays (due to the lockdown, ed.). “Google wants to let users choose in advance which data you share. That way you have control over the linking of your data between the different platforms. The company clearly states:” You decide which data we use from you. ” It is responding to the feelings that people now have. “
It is good that Google offers users the opportunity to have a say about which data is shared and linked. But at the same time, Belghmidi points out that the company also collects and has collected an awful lot of data from us and it just wants to continue with that. Actually, Google asks with this statement to our explicit permission for applications that are very popular now. Because it already happened in the past. If you book your trip via Google Chrome, you say: “You can know when I book a trip and you can immediately put that trip in my agenda.”
Agree before January 25th
Google also communicates to users that they must explicitly indicate which data may be linked. “If you want to continue using the smart features and smart links after January 25, 2021, you must indicate in your Gmail settings that you want to keep these features enabled. If you have already made your choices for these settings in the Gmail mobile app. or on a computer, you don’t need to do anything else. You can adjust these options at any time through your Gmail settings, “the official email reads.
On this page you will find more information about the settings of your Gmail account.
Refusal is an option
Since the company gives users the choice of what they want to share, they can also decline. “If you do not agree with the new changes, Google will not reject you as a user. You can continue to use your mailbox. Google will also continue to use that data. But you can determine within your own account what you can and cannot release and which. things are linked together “, Belghmidi concludes.