Google adds Confidential mode to Gmail app

Saul Franklin
August 19, 2018

Gmail's confidential mode can be used to help protect sensitive information.

It's a handy tool if you're sending information you're afraid of leaking out, or personal details that recipients should only need access to for a limited amount of time. You can use confidential mode to set an expiration date for messages or revoke access at any time.

When setting an expiration date for your message, you can also opt for a "No SMS passcode" option which will allow recipients using the Gmail app to open the email directly.

The new confidential mode gives users the ability to place restrictions on emails as part of an effort to keep them from getting into the hands of people who should not have them.

Tap on the three-dot-menu in the top right corner and then tap on Confidential mode. Confidential mode is not encrypted end-to-end, so Google could in fact read your messages in transit.

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For users of the Gmail web client, Google's support page notes that confidential mode isn't available in the classic version of Gmail. If you're now not seeing the new option in your Gmail, it means you might have to wait a few days.

The app will then present a list of options related to the new feature. Recipients can confirm their identities with a passcode via text message.

Should one need to revoke access early, a user can find the email in their sent folder and click on the remove access option. I sent an email to myself with confidential mode, the attachment was a photo.

Even with all this, Gmail still allows users to take screenshots of confidential emails. Ensure you enter the recipients phone number not of your own.

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