Google introduces self-destructing emails with new Gmail confidential mode

Protect your precious email forwards from prying eyes by setting them to self-destruct after receipt using Gmail's new confidential mode.


Ever the company to stay on top of evolving technological trends, Google has now unveiled a feature to Gmail users that will allow messages to be automatically destroyed after receipt or a set amount of time has passed.

The new Gmail "confidential email" feature allows users to set a pre-defined expiration date for specific or for all email communications, and secure their initial receipt through the use of special passcodes. It also stops recipients from forwarding, copying, printing, or otherwise downloading emails marked confidential, though there is no system in place to protect from screenshots just yet.

Granted, these new features won't necessarily work the same way across all email services: Gmail users can expect the most compatibility with the new confidential mode, but recipients using other services like Hotmail will have to open confidential Gmail emails through outside web-based portals.


Gmail's new confidential mode seems easy enough to use: when crafting a new message, users simply need to click on the three-dot Settings option and choose Confidential Mode. From there, they'll be directed to set up the passcode, the likes of which can be text messaged or emailed separately to the recipient. And, naturally, once the message is viewed and/or the receipt window closes, the email will presumably dissappear forever.

Beyond all this, Gmail users can also at long last revoke emails, a handy feature for those who like to send out questionable materials en masse, perhaps after a night full of bad decisions. This can be accomplished simply by opening the email, hitting the Settings button, then opting to remove access to the message.

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    August 21, 2018 3:55 PM

    Kevin Tucker posted a new article, Google introduces self-destructing emails with new Gmail confidential mode

    • reply
      August 21, 2018 4:06 PM


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      August 21, 2018 4:09 PM

      neat, i guess. but a hassle for non-gmail users and what prevents me from just taking a screen capture? * S N A P C H A T ' D *

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      August 21, 2018 4:10 PM

      cool, I suppose? screenshots make this almost completely pointless.

      • Zek legacy 10 years
        August 21, 2018 4:13 PM

        I think it's more for users who are skittish about Google themselves holding on to the emails.

        • Zek legacy 10 years
          August 21, 2018 4:15 PM

          Also if the emails are, let's say, legally sensitive, screenshots and text copies don't mean shit. I can fabricate an email from anyone saying anything, just using Chrome's dev tools alone.

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            August 21, 2018 4:17 PM

            so in that sense neither do the emails themselves "mean shit".

            obviously the issue is neither necessarily a) legal nor b) relating to textual content

            • Zek legacy 10 years
              August 21, 2018 4:28 PM

              I would assume that if Google gives up the emails then that would be legally admissable. But in any case I think it's mostly just to build trust in Google's handling of privacy, and to avoid giving up users to competitors who promise similar features.

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                August 21, 2018 4:40 PM

                sure, no doubt they are good features to offer. but i'm pretty sure the market for it was already not using gmail.

    • reply
      August 21, 2018 5:15 PM


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      August 21, 2018 6:28 PM

      Virus tried to get us to implement this on Shack messages.

      • reply
        August 21, 2018 6:31 PM

        Isn't that what happened when fadetofunk sent Evil D a shack message earlier?

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      August 21, 2018 6:29 PM

      Did they get the tech from Hillary???

    • reply
      August 21, 2018 11:34 PM

      /cue Mission Impossible theme

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