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Google gives organizations new data privacy controls with Access Approvals in Google Workspace

November 15, 2022
Steven Hin

Product Manager, Google Workspace

Ganesh Chilakapati

Group Product Manager, Google Workspace

Today, we are pleased to share our progress on product investments to give customers greater control over their organizational data by announcing the launch and global availability of Access Approvals. This builds on innovations we delivered earlier this year, including Sovereign Controls for Google Workspace, which enable customers to control, limit, and monitor transfers of their data across regions, and client-side encryptiondata regions, and access controls capabilities. We recognize data controls are important to customers and have accelerated delivery of these capabilities in 2022 and will deliver additional access management advances in 2023.  

New Access Approvals provide greater fidelity of controls

Whether they’re in the government or public sectors, or from global organizations with elevated privacy needs, customers of all types deal with regulatory requirements that apply to their data. They also handle sensitive data they don’t want external parties ever accessing, such as data being prepared as part of research, design blueprints, or before an earnings call. In all these scenarios, customers want more control over how their data is accessed and by whom. Access Approvals help customers solve these challenges by providing and enforcing customizable rules that require Google support staff to seek fine-grained approvals before any access to covered data is made. 

Google takes privacy extremely seriously, and we don't access customer data unless it is necessary. There are rare occasions when Google support staff need access to customer data to help troubleshoot and fix issues customers are facing. In these scenarios, Access Approvals give our customers the ability to set up granular controls—at an organizational unit or admin group level—to provide their approval to access covered content for a limited time period. 

Verizon uses Google Workspace for collaboration and recently leveraged both Access Transparency and Access Approvals capabilities to gain deeper visibility and control over their sensitive data:

"At Verizon, we prioritize security in all facets of our managed work, including access requests. With solutions such as Access Approvals, Verizon both retroactively and proactively leverages this added layer of security with additional layers based on sensitivity and needs." — Russell Leader, Director Collaboration and Mobility, Verizon

Access Approvals are part of Google Workspace’s Assured Controls offering, enabling global customers to apply their internal policies and empowering European Union (EU) customers to use this as a mechanism to control data transfers building upon Sovereign Controls. Access Approvals are generally available starting today, with an extended rollout. To learn more about Access Approvals and how to get started today, check out the documentation.

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