The long-promised feature is available for beta testing for some Workspace users, but it’s probably not coming to personal accounts anytime soon.
The beta was announced in a blog post on Friday, 16 Dec.
According to Google’s announcement, Google Workspace Enterprise Plus, Education Plus, and Education Standard customers are eligible to apply for the beta until January 20th, 2022.
“Using client-side encryption in Gmail ensures sensitive data in the email body and attachments are indecipherable to Google servers.”, the announcement reads. “Customers retain control over encryption keys and the identity service to access those keys.”
Google Workspace already uses the latest cryptographic standards to encrypt all data at rest and in transit between our facilities. Client-side encryption helps strengthen the confidentiality of your data while helping to address a broad range of data sovereignty and compliance needs.
Client-side encryption is already available for Google Drive, Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides, Google Meet, and Google Calendar (beta).
The blog post contains detailed instructions to both admins and end users on how to use the new feature. Eligible Workspace customers can apply for the beta after completing a few steps to prepare their accounts. To add client-side encryption to any message, end users can simply click the lock icon and select additional encryption, then compose their message and add attachments as normal.
Google’s Help Center provides further guidance to those who are eager to test the new feature.
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