After launching for Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides, Workspace client-side encryption (CSE) is coming to Google Meet.

Meet already encrypts all of your data at rest and in transit between our facilities — client-side encryption gives users direct control of their encryption keys and the identity service that they choose to authenticate for those keys.

This feature is aimed at companies that “need an extra level of confidentiality and makes the media indecipherable even to Google,” including audio and video. Client-side encryption can be useful for meeting compliance in highly regulated industries and “calls regarding sensitive intellectual property.”

CSE is first launching for the Meet web client, with mobile app and meeting room hardware support “coming later.” Additionally, “only participants within your Workspace organization can be invited to client-side encrypted calls — guest access will be introduced in the future.” Other implementation details include:

  • The organizer needs to join for the call to start when client-side encryption is turned on. If participants join early, they will need to wait for the organizer to join before communicating with others. 
  • Some functions that require server-side processing or parsing of call media will not work, e.g. cloud-based noise cancellation or closed captions. 
  • Client-side encryption does not support dialing-in/out 

Bringing Client-side encryption to Meet is another significant milestone in Google Workspace’s industry-leading encryption work, offering our users the highest degree of protection and control over their data.

  • Available to Google Workspace Enterprise Plus, Education Standard, and Education Plus customers hosting client-side encrypted calls 
  • Not available to Google Workspace Essentials, Business Starter, Business Standard, Business Plus, Enterprise Essentials, Education Fundamentals, The Teaching and Learning Upgrade, Frontline, and Nonprofits, as well as legacy G Suite Basic and Business customers 

Looking ahead, Google said it’s also bringing Workspace client-side encryption to Calendar and Gmail.

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Abner Li

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