Google’s upcoming Gmail redesign could come with security features that ensure only the right person can view an e-mail—and only for a specific period of time.
Gmail will reportedly offer a feature that will allow users to set a self-destruction time when the message they send will no longer be viewable by the recipient, according to TechCrunch. When users try to open an expired e-mail, they’ll find an expired link to the message and will no longer be available for viewing.
According to the report, which cited a TechCrunch tipster named Chaim, Gmail’s compose message pane will now also feature a lock with a clock in front of it. After composing an e-mail, users can click that lock and decide when the e-mail should expire. Recipients will then receive an e-mail that requires them to click a link and input their Google credentials to view the e-mail. According to the report, copy and paste and printing are not allowed in this mode. The new features aim at improving e-mail privacy by limiting a message’s access to the recipient for a specific period of time. However, since recipients are still able to screenshot a message, it’s not a guarantee of privacy.
The news comes after some outlets reported on leaks of a possible upcoming Gmail redesign. According to those reports, the app will feature a new design that streamlines access to certain features, like Inbox and Sent Mail. The Gmail redesign reportedly also includes a setting for users to change their views to two difference versions — Comfortable and Compact. It’s unclear, however, how they’re different.
The new Gmail is slated to launch within the next few weeks, Google has confirmed. According to TechCrunch, the Confidential Mode feature could be released at the same time or could be delayed to a subsequent update.