Earlier today we received the following email as a G Suite customer:
Hello Administrator,GSuite Email – 28 May, 2019
On March 7, 2019, we announced the launch of Gmail confidential mode in beta. We’re writing to let you know that on June 25, 2019, this feature will become generally available (GA) and will be set to default ON for all domains with Gmail enabled. We’re sharing this information in advance so that you can properly prepare your G Suite domain, beanstalkim.com, for this feature.
What do I need to know?
When Gmail messages are sent in confidential mode, it helps protect from unauthorized access and recipients don’t have the option to forward, copy, print, or download their content or attachments. Senders can also set an expiration date for messages sent with confidential mode and revoke access to them at any time.
What does this mean for my organization?
From June 25, your users will have the option to send emails with confidential mode, unless you disable this feature.
As an administrator, you can determine whether your users can use confidential mode by selecting from the following setting options:
Disable: This option prevents users in your domain from sending emails with confidential mode.
Enable now (beta): This option will enable confidential mode, which is currently in beta. However, the feature will remain enabled when it enters into general availability on June 25, 2019.
Enable when the feature is in general availability: This is the default option and will enable confidential mode when this feature becomes generally available on June 25, 2019.
What do I need to do?
Please ensure that you select the appropriate option in the Admin console for your organization before June 25, 2019.
You can find this setting in the Admin console by navigating to Apps > G Suite > Settings for Gmail > User settings.
If you do not take action before June 25, your domain will automatically have confidential mode turned on for your users, meaning that users will have the option to send emails with confidential mode.
How does Gmail confidential mode work with Vault and eDiscovery?
When a user sends a confidential message, Gmail replaces the message body and attachments with a link. Only the subject and body containing the link are sent via SMTP. This means that, if your users send or receive messages in Gmail confidential mode, Vault will retain, preserve, search and export confidential mode messages. The message body of received messages will be accessible in Vault only if the sender of the message is from within your organization. Learn more about how Vault works for confidential mode messages here.
We’re here to help
If you have additional questions or need assistance, please contact Google support. When you call or submit your support case, reference issue number 113130548.
The G Suite Team
I jumped in and checked our setting here at Beanstalk and as noted, confidential mode defaulted to automatically turn on.
For most this wouldn’t be a huge problem but if you’re managing a large organization or rely on easy forwarding, printing, etc. you’ll want to consider whether this is the best option for you.
It’s not something I like to see automated however I also understand that if they didn’t we’d probably ignore the email because that’s easier and never explore the option.