Google is adding the ability to set expiration dates for access to documents across Google Drive, Docs, Sheets and Slides apps. The idea is that you can limit a contributor’s access to a document for a specific time period, which Google points out will come in handy for companies and organizations that often share files with third-parties temporarily:
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For instance, imagine your business hires an outside contractor for a project lasting three months. To complete the job, that contractor needs to view a spreadsheet containing the contact information of your employees. Following this launch, you’ll be able to share your employee list in Sheets with the contractor, give them view access only, and set that access to expire when their contract does (in three months). If the contractor attempts to open the spreadsheet after the expiration date has passed, they’ll be denied access.
You’ll be able to set expiration dates for documents in Drive, Docs, Sheets and Slides for those with access to viewing or commenting, but you can’t for those that have access to editing.
Google notes that the new functionality adds to the Information Rights Management features that it added back in July of last year to give admins the ability to disable downloading, printing, and copying of Drive files.
The features are rolling out slowly, but Google says they’ll land for all end users over the coming months by the end of Q2.