Google is reportedly asking some Android smartphone users to ‘donate’ their SMS messages. As per a report by AndroidPolice, Google is sending a prompt to these users requesting for access to their messages. “Help your app sort better with message donations to Google,” the prompt reads. “Your identity stays private and you can remove any message content,” it goes on to add.
Why Google wants access to these SMSes
Google started testing Categories features on its Messages app in India more than a year ago. The company now plans to expand the feature to other regions. The Google Messages feature aims to declutter users’ inbox by categorising the messages in various sections such as OTP, promotional and more.
This Google Messages feature uses artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms to assign a category to a message. Now, to make the algorithm more accurate, the company is asking for message donations to help train its AI. The participation in the research is optional and users can opt out from the programme anytime they want.
Users who agree to ‘donate’ their messages to Google are redirected to a page where they can select the messages that they want to share with the company. As per the report, the app automatically selects promotions and business-related text messages. You can also deselect messages from that list if you want. It is worth noting that the tech giant is not hiding contact information such as phone numbers, email addresses and links before the submissions so that any of the users’ personal information does not get in the wrong hands.
The app also allows users to edit out bits from each piece of information before sharing. The prompt is only visible to selected users till now, so it is not necessary that you will see the option on your smartphone. To check if you are among those few users, you can head into the Google Messages app.