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Google Reveals How Many Requests To Its Sites Are Now Encrypted

In its transparency report, the company says that 77% of its sites now encrypt data.

[Photo: Flickr user Al Ibrahim]

Google has announced that it’s added a new metric to its transparency reports today covering the hot-button issue of the moment: encryption. Specifically, the new metric reports on the use of HTTPS encryption on requests sent to its servers.

In the inaugural HTTPS report, Google reveals that 77% of its sites now encrypt data. When Google breaks down HTTPS encryption by its individual services, the report reals that 100% of data is sent via HTTPS for Gmail, 83% of data is sent via HTTPS for Maps, 77% of data is sent via HTTPS for ads, 60% of data is sent via HTTPS for Google News, and 58% of data is sent via HTTPS for Google Finance.

"We're making positive strides, but we still have a ways to go," Google said in a blog post.

Still, Google is doing better than most of the other major sites on the Internet. The company’s new HTTPS transparency report also looks at the top 100 non-Google sites on the Internet, which it says account for 25% of all web traffic, and reveals that a majority of them aren’t using HTTPS, though plenty of the major ones such as Amazon and Facebook are.

Yet Google says one of the biggest problems to an entirely secure, encrypted web originates from existing consumer smartphones. "Some older devices cannot support modern encryption, standards, or protocols," the company notes. "The vast majority of unencrypted end user traffic originating from a set of surveyed Google services comes from mobile devices. Unfortunately, these devices may no longer be updated and may never support encryption."

Google will be updating its HTTPS transparency report on a weekly basis as it strives to increase its own HTTPS offerings. "Implementing encryption is not easy work," the company says. "But, as more people spend more of their time on the web, it’s an increasingly essential element of online security. We hope this report will provide a snapshot of our own encryption efforts and will encourage everyone to make HTTPS the default on the web, even faster."