Gmail’s New “Confidential Mode” Is Not Confidential

Google revealed earlier this week that it’s launching an updated Gmail design. The new Gmail will offer new features like “Snooze” and “Smart Reply”. Also included is a newly added “Confidential Mode”.

With Confidential Mode, users can control if the message can be forwarded, copied, downloaded or printed. Engadget reported that Gmail’s restrictions will “probably not prevent someone form taking a screenshot of an email.”

We have similar concerns with Confidential Mode as we do with Google Chrome’s Incognito Mode. While Incognito Mode keeps your browser from storing information, it won’t protect your browsing from being tracked by websites you visit. So users are still handing information over to Google (and every website they visit) in Incognito Mode, even though they may be under the impression they are browsing privately.

Confidential Mode may keep your emails from being shared by the person you send it to, but not from Google itself. Google collects data from Gmail accounts in both sent and received messages. This “Confidential Mode” certainly is not truly confidential if it still lets Google and any third-parties Google shares information with use information from your emails.