Some of the Google users must have breathed a sigh of relief when they heard that Google has launched the ‘Confidential Mode’ feature within Gmail. The feature has taken effect from July indeed. After much of the bafflement over Google Maps’ ability to track user location data without the permission of users, this news is surely going to boost Google’s goodwill again.
Nevertheless, not everyone seems to be satisfied with this feature. They doubt its ability to maintain the privacy of your data. As announced by Google itself, users would be able to secure sensitive data with this mode. In addition, users get the privilege to fix an expiry date for every message you send so that the recipient has to read it before the email expires and to reject the access to your email so that nobody can ever misuse your Gmail. After you have enabled this mode, recipients can neither forward nor print your email.
However, Google acknowledges that it cannot ward off people’s ability to take screenshots of your emails. With some unknown malicious software programs, cyberpunks or programmers would be able to download your emails, as well as attachments. Mainly, you can activate the Confidential Mode easily, using either web Gmail or SMS. Nevertheless, this feature is not available to G Suite customers at the moment.
As stated by EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation), the Confidential Mode fails to provide absolute confidentiality as its end-to-end encryption is not secured at all. It means that Google might read your conversations and sensitive communication that happened through Gmail even though the Confidential Mode is activated. Eventually, this Confidential Mode appears to be a replica of Google’s previous blunder concerning its ability to track users’ location.
With Google’s ability to retrieve and store your emails regardless of the expiry date, you would never feel that your sensitive data is secure by any means. It’s unknown whether Google will make amends for this blunder again or keep the feature as it is. After all, what do we have in our hands?