Google turns on end-to-end encryption, but not for everyone

Google has just enabled a new option allowing certain Google Workspace users to use end-to-end encryption to send their messages in the web version of Gmail.

Google has just announced the deployment of end-to-end encryption in the web version of Gmail. Please note, however, that not all messaging users are affected by this new feature. The Mountain View company has indeed indicated that it will reserve, at least for the moment, this functionality only for users of the Enterprise Plus, Education Plus and Education Standard versions of its Google Workspace suite. End-to-end encryption in messaging is currently still being tested, with Google Workspace users likely to apply to join the beta until January 20.

Full control of encryption keys

Concretely, the introduction of client-side end-to-end encryption allows you to encrypt all of your messages using your own encryption keys in addition to the encryption that Google applies by default in Workspace. This therefore means that the encryption of the message about to be sent is handled directly in your browser before your message is sent to Google’s servers. You should also use an external key management service to manage your own encryption keys.

The American giant will thus not be able to access your encryption keys and will therefore not be able to decrypt your data. The messages you send, and their possible attachments, will be completely unreadable for Google. However, encryption does not apply to the message header, i.e. timestamp, subject, and list of recipients

One-click encryption enabled in your messages

To enable end-to-end encryption in a message about to be sent, Google has added a new button to the top right of the message compose window. By clicking on the button with a padlock, you can activate the additional encryption. The upper banner of the message window will then turn blue, indicating that your missive is end-to-end encrypted.


If you are interested in end-to-end encryption in Gmail and have an eligible Google Workspace account, you have until January 20, 2023 to submit your request to join the beta testing program.

Gmail is not the first service from Google to benefit from end-to-end client-side encryption. Prior to Mail, Google had already rolled out several of its tools, including Google Drive, Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Google Meet, and Google Calendar.

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