In a recent blog post, ProtonMail has claimed that Gmail’s “confidential mode” is misleading and “little more than a marketing strategy”.
In the blog post, the company said that the email service provided by Google’s isn’t secure as it doesn’t come with end-to-end encryption. As a result, the company claimed that the search engine giant can still read its customers’ emails.
The company wrote, “Is it actually secure or private? Is it encrypted? When you turn it on, does it prevent Google from reading your messages? The answer to these questions is ‘no’. In fact, the decision to call it “confidential suggests a level of security and privacy that doesn’t exist in Gmail confidential mode.”
“Gmail’s confidential mode does not mean your messages are end-to-end encrypted. Google can still read them. Expiring messages aren’t erased for good, and the recipient can always take a screenshot of your message.”
The company goes on to further criticize Google regarding its false claims of improving user privacy. It said that Google is just marketing the product using false sense of security. It wrote, “The other supposed security benefit of confidential mode is the inability of the recipient to forward, copy, download, or print the email. “This helps reduce the risk of confidential information being accidentally shared with the wrong people”, Google says. While it’s true this may reduce the risk of accidental data exposure, it is not real security. The recipient can simply take a screenshot of the email.”
While the company made some valid points, the more interesting part is that it used the post to highlight the potential security flaws of Gmail in an attempt to attract more customers to ProtonMail. Despite that, the points the company made can be causes for concerns for Gmail users going forward.