Gmail's new 'Confidential Mode' won't be completely private


The new design is said to also come with a feature that would ensure only the recipient can view an e-mail and that too for a specific period of time.

A sidebar for Google's apps - The new Gmail lets you open up a sidebar that can show Google's Calendar, note-taking app keep, or to-do list app Task.

Gmail may also introduce "self-destructing emails", which become inaccessible after a set amount of time, TechCrunch reported on Friday based on leaked screenshots.

The search engine giant has another feature up its sleeve called "confidential mode" that will allow users to limit what recipients can do with the emails you send, preventing them from being forwarded, downloaded or printed, according to another report in The Verge.

Gmail is testing a new "confidential mode" that allows users to set an expiration date for their correspondence, and attempts to prohibit users from forwarding, downloading, or copying an email. The code is randomly generated by Google. It's unclear if the passcode feature will work for non-Gmail users, TechCrunch noted. This can't be applied retrospectively to any email.

Moreover, while recipients won't see the contents of a destroyed email, they might still be able to see that one was received and later deleted by the sender.

However, be warned: this system can easily be beaten by anyone who knows how to take a screenshot.

Confidential Mode sounds like a non-starter in industries required to keep emails for regulatory reasons but presumably G Suite will offer a mechanism to archive self-destructing emails sent this way.

Questions still remain on what this will mean for Google Inbox and if that is no longer a priority.

Remember, from what we've seen so far, emails sent this way are not secured using end-to-end encryption in which keys are known only to the sender and receiver.

A fuller view of changes to Google's product lineup is expected as part of the Google I/O conference next month.

All the same, its arrival could still be a big moment for an idea that has been lurking on the fringes for some years.

These features, which have been available in Microsoft's Outlook desktop app for sometime now, should appeal to business users who want more granular controls over how emails are used by recipients.