Google is Reportedly Rolling Out a Feature to Fight Spam in Your Texts

Illustration for article titled Google is Reportedly Rolling Out a Feature to Fight Spam in Your Texts
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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.

[Android Police]

Consumer tech reporter by day, danger noodle by night. No, I'm not the K-Pop star.



I’ve largely avoid spam texts until this past election, at which point I got at least a hundred texts (addressed to a multitude of names that weren’t my own) from some group or another associated with the Democrats in Arizona. This continued after multiple conversations with them where I told them that my name wasn’t Greg or Paul or Mary, etc., etc., nor did I live in their state or share an area code. Left an incredibly bad taste in my mouth going into the polling place. I wonder if it was general incompetence or the opposition being clever.