For a few months now, Google has been known to be working on a spam protection feature for Android users on the Messages app. Now, according to a report by Android Police, Google has started rolling out the feature to some users and will make it available to all in a few days.
Considering its a server-end rollout, when your phone receives the spam protection feature, you will notice a new notifications pop-up on your phone alerting you of the feature. You can also manually activate the feature by heading to Settings > Advanced Settings > Spam Protection > Enable Spam protection.
Essentially, the feature will automatically alert you of spam messages that come into your Messages app.
Notably, though, A formerly discovered section of Google’s support help site that went live prematurely, explained how the new spam protection feature will function from a privacy perspective. It said that when the feature is enabled, some information about messages that are received on the device will automatically be sent to Google. However, the content of the message will not be read; such as the phone number or the message body.
When you enable the feature too, you will see the same alert below the Enable Spam Protection toggle.
How this feature works at the back-end is still unknown. Presumingly, it looks at that data statistically to determine commonalities between spam messages. Notably, if you send a spam report manually, it still submits the full message to Google, including phone numbers of both sender and recipient as well as the message’s contents.
It will come to be seen how helpful the feature would be once its out and about for all. But one thing’s for sure, if you are concerned about the data you exchange on the Messages app, you are recommended to keep off the spam protection feature or use some other messaging app altogether.