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Google enables beta data-encrypting feature

In an apparent effort to shore up its reputation as accusations of data stockpiling mount up, Google has announced it is adding end-to-end encryption – for some, but not all, Gmail users.

This, in theory, means the tech giant should be unable to read the contents of any email sent using Gmail, although it admits that the “header of the email, including subject, timestamps, and recipients lists” will not be included.

The augmented service Gmail CSE Beta will be available to clients of Google Workspace Enterprise Plus, Education Plus, and Education Standard.

Users can apply for the beta in a Gmail CSE Beta Test Application using their email address, Project ID, and test group domain.

“The sender and all recipients must have CSE turned on and valid certificates,” said Google. “If any recipients are missing a valid certificate, the sender can't send the email.”

CSE users who get an encrypted message will see the words “encrypted message” below the sender’s name. “If prompted, sign in to your identity provider,” said Google. “The message is automatically decrypted in your Gmail browser window.”

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