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. Gmail's expiring email will essentially become unreadable after some time. We'd seen drafts of a redesign dating back almost a year ago and heard some descriptions of the new look, but after yesterday's news, several sources shared images of the new design itself - including some new features. The new mode will also allow senders to restrict the recipient from copying, downloading, or even printing the email.
A Google spokesperson said: 'We work hard to comply with the Right to be Forgotten, but we take great care not to remove search results that are in the public interest and will defend the public's right to access lawful information. That means you never have to leave your inbox to create a to-do list or reschedule a meeting. As the G Suite email, regular Gmail users along with G Suite customers will have to opt-in into a new Early Adopter Program to access the new Gmail. This will be especially useful for sending confidential emails or emails that you feel should be read and deleted for privacy purposes.
According to the tipster who spilled the news to TechCrunch, there's already a help page for the feature but it's now not populated with any information - suggesting that the self-destructing emails of the new Gmail design is under development but not ready for release at this point in time.
The new Gmail is slated to launch within the next few weeks, Google has confirmed. Unless protection is offered against the incredibly simple process of taking a screenshot of any supposedly confidential mail, the whole feature might well be useless, and will simply protect against inbox searches post the expiry of the email. The Verge notes, though, that recipients will still be able to take screenshots or photos of these confidential emails.