Today, Google added a new section to its transparency report, giving users a running tally of how many Google requests use HTTPS encryption. Groups like EFF have long campaigned for wider usage of HTTPS, but implementation can be demanding, particularly for services as complex as Google’s. “Our aim with this project is to hold ourselves accountable and encourage others to encrypt so we can make the web even safer for everyone,” Google said in an accompanying statement.
Here is a brief overview of what Google has included in its report.
Most of the Google products, like Gmail and Drive, require SSL protection for security reasons, but it’s less important for casual products like Maps or News. Still, Google figures show SSL usage growing gradually more encrypted over the past two years. The most difficult job for Google is encrypting its ad services. Google began a push for HTTPS-enabled ads back in April, and the current reports estimate 77 percent of the ads are secured through SSL. Blogger is also another service that is going to get more focus as far as the SSL security is concerned.
Beyond Google products, the company is also looking to extend this security to the other popular sites based on the data from Alexa and their internal data. They have claimed that this move might help them to account for the rest 25% of the sites that are missing the security.
Google has mentioned some of the common issues with providing encryption to everyone as follows.
- Older hardware and/or software that doesn’t support modern encryption technologies.
- Governments and organizations that may block or otherwise degrade HTTPS traffic.
- Organizations that may not have the desire or technical resources to implement HTTPS.
However, even if the process of providing encryption is not an easy one, the company has assured that they will do their best to overcome the obstacles.