Gmail’s Confidential Mode
The “Confidential Mode” is the latest Google’s update to Gmail. Google aims to give users of Gmail more control over who gets to see the emails they send, and for how long.
The Gmail’s Confidential Mode enables users to remove the right and possibilities of forwarding, downloading, copying or printing selected emails. In addition, Gmail users could request for a passcode for opening sent emails by the recipients. The passcode is supposed to be sent by Google via SMS. Furthermore, Gmail users may fix an expiration date on sent emails.
Gmail’s Confidential Mode is expected to be very appealing to business, organizations, and individuals who send highly confidential emails as the new update gives them full control over how the recipients receive and use the received email.
Before the new update, recipients of emails could download, print, copy, and forward such emails without any restrictions or inhibitions whatsoever. However, such emails without an appropriate control over them could get to wrong hands and used for fraudulent purposes.
However, Gmail’s Confidential Mode is giving Gmail users full control over their emails. Sensitive messages such as tax return and Social Security Number can be protected from being printed, forwarded, or copied. Senders could demand that the recipients request for a password to open the email from Google. And an email set with an expiration date is expected to disappear from the recipient’s inbox. As a result, the new update offers more privacy and enhanced secure experience for Gmail users.
While recipients may not print, download, copy or forward the received messages, they could take screenshots or photos of such emails or invite other people to read the emails on their screens. Google has reportedly not responded to an email that raised those concerns.
Besides, the new update has a fresh challenge to it as senders can have to tell Google the recipient’s phone number, most likely without the recipient’s consent. The new privacy feature will now make Google have more emails on its servers.
Another concern that Gmail’s Confidential Mode has raised is that hackers and persons with fraudulent intentions may set a time limit how long an email will be available to lure recipients of such emails to open malicious links for phishing purposes.
While Gmail’s Confidential Mode is a good development, it is still unclear how the new features will work when the recipients are not Gmail users but other email service providers.