Encryption is now a hot topic in the tech world since the feds have been pressuring Apple and Facebook’s WhatsApp messaging service into loosening their products’ security. So, several tech companies including Facebook and Snapchat recently pledged that they would make their services’ encryption even stronger.
Google was also one of the companies that made such promise on Monday. But in a recently released transparency report, the web search giant took things one step further. On Tuesday, the company made the number of Google queries encrypted through HTTPS public.
According to the report, about 77 percent of Google online traffic is encrypted, which is a major progress from 2013’s mere 52 percent.
While HTTPS encryption has been around for years, securing online transactions and communications for zillions of services, it is the first time the tech giant decides to keep users up-to-date on its encryption practices and efforts to protect online privacy.
Google argued that introducing the new data into its Transparency Report was a necessary measure to hold the company “accountable” and to encourage other tech companies to use enhanced encryption to keep every one safe online.
The company also announced that it would provide weekly updates on its efforts to expand HTTPS encryption to all its products and services. So, expect even more services to make it on the list in the near future.
The latest report also includes some charts showing the traffic that was encrypted via HTTPS. Still, YouTube traffic did not feature on the graphs since the service, which is used by over 1 billion users, has yet to be secured. Google pledged to encrypt the service, too, by the end of the year.
In the report, Google also detailed the hurdles it has to overcome to use the encryption at its max. Apparently, the final goal is for online traffic to be fully encrypted, but there is a lot to be done until the search giant achieves that goal.
Yet, it is not the first time when Google makes a push for universal encryption. The company has been touting the importance of online encryption since 2013 in the wake of Snowden leaks showing that U.S. agencies had been harvesting personal data from unencrypted web traffic for years.
I recent years, Google has boosted its own services’ encryption, while it has also been pushing encryption on all websites. In 2014, it even demoted some websites in its search results, if they failed to encrypt their traffic.
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