Google has announced the general availability of Gmail’s client-side encryption mode for businesses and educational organizations. The feature, which was in beta testing last year, allows users to have complete control over their encryption keys, giving them sole access to their data. This development is a significant move towards ensuring data privacy and security for businesses that must meet strict compliance and privacy standards.
With client-side encryption, data is encrypted before it reaches Google servers, ensuring that even Google cannot view the contents of the emails it is hosting. This level of encryption is particularly beneficial for companies that deal with sensitive information and must protect it from unauthorized access. Furthermore, users can encrypt emails they are sending within their organization, as well as emails sent to other parties, regardless of whether the recipient uses Gmail.
Google’s move to strengthen the encryption of its email service is not new, with reports dating back to at least 2014, reported by VentureBeat. However, it is a significant step towards ensuring data privacy and security, particularly for businesses that must meet compliance or privacy standards.
It is essential to note that this feature is only available to users with Workspace Enterprise Plus, Education Standard, or Education Plus accounts and not personal accounts. Additionally, the setup process may be challenging, particularly for non-IT staff.
Apart from Gmail, Google has also made this feature available for other Workspace apps like Drive, Docs, and Meet, offering end-to-end encryption for these applications. Earlier this month, the company announced that client-side encryption was now generally available for Google Calendar, allowing businesses to add additional protection for an event’s description and attachments.
Gmail’s client-side encryption is a welcome development toward ensuring data privacy and security. With complete control over their encryption keys, businesses, and educational organizations can protect their sensitive information from unauthorized access. Although this feature is only available to select Workspace accounts, Google’s continued efforts towards strengthening encryption for its applications bode well for data privacy and security.