Everyone hates spam texts, but only some Android users are reporting they’re seeing alerts about a new spam protection feature from Google in their Messages app.
According to Android Police, the update seems to be a limited rollout as it isn’t live on every single device yet. Those who do have the feature report seeing a notification when launching the Messages app that announces the new setting and reads, “To help protect against spam some data about your messages, but not any content, is sent to Google.” The spam protection feature can be manually toggled on or off via the Advanced section of the Android Settings menu, according to screenshots published by Android Police.
When the spam protection feature is enabled, the data Google collects from that user doesn’t include the content of their messages or their phone number, according to Google’s support site. That contrasts spam reports manually sent by users to Google, which include the full message sent by the spammer (plus, a copy may be sent to mobile carriers as well). We’ve reached out to Google for more information on its launch plans and for details on the data its spam protection feature does gather.
Of course, if you don’t trust Google to keep its word, you could just stop regular texting altogether and move to a third-party, encrypted messaging app.