Google introduces end-to-end encryption for Gmail

Google Workspace receives an update of the end-to-end encryption software

picture: Sean Gallup (Getty Images)

Google Workspace rolls out a new security update gmail, which adds end-to-end encryption intended to provide an extra layer of security when sending emails and attachments across the internet. Customers remain in control of encryption keys and identity services that provide access to those keys.

The update is still in beta, but eligible Workspace customers with Enterprise Plus, Education Standard, and Education Plus accounts can fill out an application to try the program through Google help center. Once the encryption update is complete, Gmail Workspace customers will find that any sensitive information or data submitted cannot be decrypted by Google’s servers.

According to the support center, the application window will be open until January 20, 2023, and once users have accessed the feature, they can enable the additional encryption by selecting the padlock button when composing their email. But once enabled, some features will be disabled including emojis, signatures, and smart compose.

Google spokesman Ross Richendrfer said in an email to Gizmodo that the introduction of client-side encryption “for all Workspace services is really important to our users.”

He pointed to Google’s first announcement It was said in June last year that the new feature complements client-side encryption software by allowing users to take control of encryption keys and decide individually who has access to their data.

“Client-side encryption is particularly beneficial for organizations that store sensitive or regulated data, such as intellectual property, health records, or financial data,” Richendrfer pointed out in the email.

The encryption feature is overseen and managed by users’ admins and comes after Google started adding more encryption features to Gmail.

Client-side encryption, or CSE, was added to Google Drive last year when the company launched its new enterprise offerings that allowed businesses to encrypt spreadsheets and documents. CSE is already available for Google Drive, including in apps like Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. It’s also included with Google Meet and is in beta for Google Calendar.

“Google Workspace already uses the latest cryptographic standards to encrypt all data at rest and in transit between our facilities,” Google said in its Notice. It goes on to say: “Client-side encryption helps strengthen the confidentiality of your data while meeting a wide range of data sovereignty and compliance requirements.”

Remarkably, this beta follows the end-to-end encryption used on most Apple devices iCloud Services, with Email, Contacts, and Calendar being the odd ones.

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