Spam protection feature rolling out to some Messages’ users

It appears the feature is part of a server-side test

Android Messages app icon

The long-rumoured spam protection feature in Google’s Messages app started rolling out to some users.

The feature, which appears to be part of a limited server-side test, has appeared on some devices. Users who received the function should get a pop-up when they open Messages informing them about the new feature.

Further, the pop-up says that spam protection sends some data about your messages to Google. However, the pop-up stresses Google can’t see the content of messages. Additionally, the pop-up allows users to hop into the settings and turn off the feature.

Android Messages spam protection

Alternatively, you can toggle the feature on or off by tapping the overflow menu, Settings and then Advanced.

Android Police also previously discovered a Google support page that went live prematurely with details on how spam protection works.

According to the support page, Google temporarily stores the phone numbers used and times people send and receive messages with you. However, Google says it doesn’t save your phone number or the content of texts.

Google uses that information to provide spam warnings in Messages. You can then submit a spam report or tell Google a message isn’t spam. If you send a report, it includes the spammers last 10 texts, but none of your replies. Also, the spammer isn’t notified about the report.

Additionally, Google says on the support page it may share some of the information with carriers that support spam reporting.

Ultimately, if you don’t want Google having access to this information, you may want to skip this feature or use a different messaging app entirely. Alternatively, you can maintain some privacy by not reporting spam and just blocking numbers instead.

Source: Android Police