Understanding Google Confidentiality Mode at Virginia Tech
This article describes:
- Google Confidentiality mode,
- Who, at Virginia Tech, has access to this mode, and
- What notification will be received if a user sends a confidential email from a email@example.com address to an @vt.edu address.
What is Google's Confidential Email Mode?
This mode is Google's approach for protecting sensitive information from unauthorized access in emails sent using Gmail.
Do I have access to it at Virginia Tech?
No, after conducting an analysis on this feature, the Division of IT has decided to disable it for all @vt.edu accounts. The rationale for this is:
- Google's implementation has a negative impact on e-Discovery for the university
- Further testing is necessary to determine its impact on Virginia Tech's mail flow
- This setting decreases the security posture relating to phishing scams
If I send an email to an @vt.edu address with the confidential setting applied, what will I see?
If a user tries to send a confidential email to an @vt.edu address from a firstname.lastname@example.org address, the email in question will be blocked, and the sender will receive the following email notification:
"550 5.7.1 Virginia Tech does not accept messages sent in Confidential Mode. We’re sorry for the inconvenience. – gcdp s123sor1833419vkg.58 - gsmtp"
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