Google Overhauls Gmail Ahead Of GDPR

Google overhauls Gmail

GDPR officially becomes enforced on 25 May 2018, which has seen a flurry of news recently about companies implementing changes to be ready for the European Union’s tough new data rules. One of those companies is the US company Google, who has overhauled their popular email service, Gmail.

The redesign has been years in the making and with 1.4 billion people using Gmail each month, it’s one that has been a long time coming. The consumer side of Gmail has been changed to include abilities such as being able to snooze emails until a specified date or time along with ensuring that emails are not forgotten about with quick reminders.

One of the updates that will align particularly with GDPR is the introduction of safety measures that include a confidential mode. This mode is ideal for when sending sensitive information such as financial information, passwords and more. When using this mode, it allows users to remove the option for the recipient to forward, copy, print or download the email.

There is also the option available to make the email expire after a period, in effect allowing the email to ‘self-destruct’ to prevent important information from being left out. This allows users to have more freedom to control their information by removing the option of allowing it to remain in inboxes.

Gmail Changed For Business

Gmail Google

Gmail, Google

The new update also targets business users, going after a section of email users that are more likely to use the traditional Microsoft Outlook. The email storage databases of Gmail have been restructured, allowing its three duelling systems to be unified to allow messages to be synced across devices and upgraded computers.

Allowing users to engage the confidential system will be a huge benefit to businesses, allowing them to retain control over sensitive information. It can also be designed so that the recipient must enter a onetime passcode that is sent to their phones before they are able to read the message.

The ‘nudges’ that can be used to remind users to respond to an email will prove to be particularly useful to organisations, as it can reduce the number of business related emails that are forgotten or not responded to. The phishing protection has also been improved, allowing more prominent warnings to be seen about emails that are potentially suspicious.

Businesses will also appreciate the ability to view emails offline for up to 90 days, which will allow their users to write, manage and search for any messages without any internet access. The new changes are expected to be rolled out to consumers within the next few weeks whereas the G Suite changes will require any system administrators to turn on the options.

An obvious push towards business centric email is a logical step for Google, who already have a significant consumer base anyway. The commercial G Suite products, which include Google Docs, Google Drive and more, generated around $2 billion in 2017. While an impressive figure, this is estimated to be around 10 times less than what Microsoft Office generated.

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Sarah Jubb
Sarah Jubb

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