Google has unveiled a new feature in Google Drive for sharing documents, while still maintaining control of the information. Drive's new Information Rights Management (IRM) gives document owners the ability to prevent people they share with from being able to download, copy or print the information.
Adding this capability is a simple check box in the advanced settings for any document's share settings. At the moment the ability to add this feature can only be found on the full web version and is not available through any app.
IRM is available for any document that you have in Google Drive, meaning you can lock out the ability to print a pdf as well as a document created in Google Docs, as long as they are both shared from Drive. It is an all or nothing feature, so you have to lock out downloading, copying, and printing, or allow all three things for a specific document, there is no way to pick and choose.
This may make Google Drive a more viable choice for businesses that deal with sensitive information. Drive is easily accessible but that access makes the system inherently less secure. IRM will allow information to be shared among employees while lessening the possibility of leaks. Developers will also have access to the options through the Google Drive API.
Information Rights Management will be rolled out to all Google Drive users in the next couple of days.