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Is Gmail’s New Ephemeral Messaging Service a Threat to Data Retention?


Jun 22, 2018

Despite some potential problems with widespread use of Gmail’s “Confidential Mode,” the new ephemeral messaging function can be easily managed from an information governance perspective.

At first glance, the launch of Gmail’s new ephemeral messaging feature known as “Confidential Mode,” which is included in a batch of user interface updates to the service, may cause a fair amount of apprehension among e-discovery and information governance managers.

All emails sent using the confidential mode, for instance, are erased after a designated time set by the user. Until they are erased, they are stored directly on Google’s servers instead of on a proprietary company-owned server. And even if a Gmail user sends an email under confidential mode to a recipient who is using a different email client, the recipient can only access that email via a website link that still connects to Google’s servers.

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