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Yes, you can opt out, but honestly it is not that big of a deal. People are limited to a single email to your Gmail account from Google+, so there is no easy way for someone to spam you with a lot of emails. In fact, I think it makes more sense to leave it active for this reason. It's seems that anything Google makes a change, the automatic response is to freak out. Sometimes it is justified I suppose, but not so much this time.