Given the recent concerns Facebook has caused over internet privacy, this seems like a timely upgrade to GMail:
In the compose screen, there’s a tiny lock icon called “confidential mode”. It says that the recipient won’t be able to forward email content, copy and paste, download or print the email.
You can configure the expiration date so that your email disappears after 1 week, 1 month, multiple years, etc. You can also ask your recipient to confirm their identity with a passcode sent via text message. This sounds like a great way to associate email addresses with phone numbers and improve Google’s ads. (Update: a Google spokesperson reminded us that Google stopped scanning Gmail for ad personalization last year.)
When our tipster clicked on “Learn more”, it opened Google’s help articles but the page was not found. The feature isn’t ready for prime time just yet.
On the recipient’s side, the person was using the existing version of Gmail and received a link to view the confidential email. The recipient had to log into their Google account once again to view the content. When viewing the confidential message, copy and paste as well as the print feature were disabled — it didn’t stop our tipster from taking a screenshot of the email though.
It’s unclear if this feature is going to be compatible with non-Gmail users as the company asks you to confirm your Google account to view the confidential message. It’s also unclear if the integration is going to work better in the future when everybody is using the new Gmail.