Upcoming Gmail redesign will also herald the arrival of self-destructing emails

Saul Franklin
April 15, 2018

Google is revamping the web version of its popular email service, Gmail.

As revealed by The Verge, the Gmail update is about more than just giving the email service a new coat of paint.

As presented by TechCrunch, a small lock icon appears in the compose window for an email which represents "Confidential Mode". The new design includes some subtle elements of Google's Material Design, and a number of new features that were originally introduced for Google's Inbox overhaul of Gmail.

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"We are pleased that the Court recognized our efforts [to comply with the Right to Be Forgotten], and we will respect the judgments they have made in this case", a Google spokesman said about the new ruling, The Telegraph reported. As per some screenshots, users will be able to set an expiration date so that the sent email disappears or is unreadable after a week or several years depending on what they choose. The setting prevents the email (on the recipient side) from being forwarded, downloaded, copied or printed in any way. Also, on the recipient end, Gmail will show the content of confidential emails as a link which will verify a user's identity before showing the email content. The recipient had to log into their Google account once again to view the content. According to TechCrunch, the Confidential Mode feature could be released at the same time or could be delayed to a subsequent update.

TechCrunch, who received the information from a tipster with early access, points out this could be a ploy to get more Gmail users' phone numbers. There will also be passcodes sent by Google to open emails. Users will be able to select a date when the email will expire, after which the receiver will no longer be able to see the email.

End-to-end encryption is also not mentioned by Google anywhere. Unless protection is offered against the incredibly simple process of taking a screenshot of any supposedly confidential mail, the whole feature might well be useless, and will simply protect against inbox searches post the expiry of the email.

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