February 2, 2023

Google has announced that it is introducing end-to-end encryption to Gmail on the web browser. The feature is currently in beta and allows users to send and receive encrypted emails within and outside their domain.

The new feature, referred to as client-side encryption, will ensure sensitive data in the email body and attachments indecipherable to Google servers. It will also allow customers to retain control over the encryption keys and the identity service to access those keys.

Google already provides client-side encryption for Google Drive, Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Google Meet, and Google Calendar (beta).

This new feature is available to those who have Google Workspace Enterprise Plus, Education Plus, or Education Standard licence. The application process for the beta programme will remain open until January 2023, said Google.

The feature is not yet available to users with personal Google accounts or Google Workspace Essentials, etc. The public release of the new feature is expected sometime later next year.

Google lists the following capabilities it is asking beta users to test:

  • Send and receive encrypted messages within the organisation
  • Send emails to external recipients
  • Share digital signatures with external recipients
  • Include quoted emails in a thread
  • Receive emails from other mail clients
  • Attach a file
  • Paste an image
  • Forward messages
  • Save encrypted drafts
  • Undo send
  • Those interested can apply for the beta on Google’s website.

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