Computer

with this novelty you will no longer be able

Google, like any other email provider, performs a tracking all emails that each user sends and receives. In them there is very valuable information for the company, since this is how it learns about the tastes and interests of the user and can, for example, show them ads or banners with relevant information for them; After all, Google’s main source of income is advertising. To avoid this, it was necessary to use extensions, or make certain configurations, out of the reach of most ordinary users. Luckily this is over.

We do not know if due to good practices, or fear of fines, large Internet companies are increasingly concerned about the security of user data. Thanks to this, it is possible to see how some communications between users through platforms such as WhatsApp or Twitter are end-to-end encrypted so that nothing and no one except the sender or receiver can intercept said communication.

Google has long offered an encryption feature for Gmail emails, but it’s very basic, and only on the client side. That is, the emails are encrypted on their journey between the PC and Google’s servers, but when they are stored they are unencrypted, or they are encrypted using Google’s own keys, which allow the company to access their content.

Finally, after years of waiting, this is over, and Gmail Just Got Real Encryption for the mails.

End-to-end encryption comes to Gmail

The end-to-end encryption of Gmail works similar to what we can find, for example, in WhatsApp. Namely, the message, and other information, is encrypted on our computer, using a key that can only be generated by the recipient, and is sent protected by this key. When the recipient receives the mail, the content of the message becomes readable again. But, at no time, and at no point in the middle of the connection, is the message decrypted.

This type of encryption has already been working for some time in other company services, such as Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Meet and Google Calendar, although in beta phase. Now, finally, this encryption comes to Gmail.

When we are going to send an email, to the right of the recipient, we can see a new padlock-shaped icon that will allow us to choose the type of encryption we want to use. By default, messages will use Gmail’s basic encryption. But if we prefer, we can turn on end-to-end encryption.

By doing so, the email body and attachments are encrypted in the browser, before the data is sent to Google’s servers, using a key that only the recipient has, so only they can decrypt the data.

Availability

At this time, this new encryption feature is only available to users of Google Workspace, that is, the version of Gmail for companies. After all, they are the ones who need that added security when sending all kinds of sensitive and confidential information by mail. At the moment in beta, until surely the next months of January and February, this E2EE It will also come disabled by default, being the responsibility of the administrators to activate it from the administration console. And, in addition, it is not easy to configure it, since it is necessary to enter a large amount of information about the sender and the receiver in order to generate the encryption key.

Without a doubt, it is a great novelty, and highly anticipated by Gmail users. The problem is, will it reach ordinary users, the same as, for example, WhatsApp? At the moment it is too soon to know. In addition, the data that Google obtains from our emails is very valuable for its personalized advertising.

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