New Gmail update will include self-destructing emails

New Gmail update will include self-destructing emails

In what is called "confidential mode", Gmail will let users set an expiration date on emails so that, after a certain point, recipients can't forward, copy, download or print these messages.

The expiring emails feature works similarly to the expiring emails feature in ProtonMail as the email becomes unreadable after some time. Other features said to be on the cusp of debuting include a "snooze" option that lets users temporarily send emails back out of their inbox until they're ready to deal with them, as well as a "smart reply" feature for the web version of Gmail that automatically suggests boilerplate email responses; this option is already available for mobile.

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Beyond that, judging by screenshots sent to TechCrunch, Gmail users will be able to choose when the email expires and disappears into the ether. As the Google's I/O developer conference starts on May 8th this year, this new Gmail design will be an important part of the event.

While these "confidential" emails are hard to forward or copy for the sender, it's important to note that there's no word of end-to-end encryption - suggesting that Google can still read the contents of your emails and comply with law enforcement if they're required to give information from your account - so don't send anything you wouldn't be fine with the authorities seeing. The report describes that on the recipient's side, the person used the existing version of Gmail and received a link to view the confidential email. On the other hand, Google generates an email with a link in Gmail's current implementation.

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Further, Gmail will also ask the recipient to punch in an SMS passcode in order to confirm their identity, before the recipient is being allowed to see the email.

Now, in another legal challenge, Google has once again come off second best after it failed in its bid to stop a businessman seeking to invoke his "right to be forgotten".

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The web clients of Gmail are set to receive one of its most substantial overhauls in the next few weeks, yet Google made no announcements publicly. This may mean that people in other services will be able to read the email, but only if they also have a Google account. It is unclear if the "confidential" expiring mails will be end-to-end encrypted. As The Verge notes, a Confidential email recipient would only need to take a screenshot of an email to avoid these safeguards entirely.

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