Google is currently developing a process that will make it easier for Gmail users to encrypt their emails, according to Venture Beat’s unnamed sources. For over 20 years, Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) has been an encryption standard, but the platform hasn’t always been the most user-friendly. This, along with growing concerns over unwanted internet surveillance has prompted Google to task its engineers with making PGP easier to use.
Currently, it’s unknown exactly how the company will integrate its improved Gmail encryption features. Google could possibly take a very public approach with a full marketing blitz, however the company could release this new security measure as an additional feature hidden behind Gmail’s settings gear.
It’s also unclear if users will be able to maintain their own keys or if they will be held on Google’s servers, which could potentially be vulnerable to outside attacks. Furthermore, PGP doesn’t support password resets, which further leads to user frustration when people expect to be able to change their password if lost or forgotten.
Lastly, Google scans messages in order to produce user targeted ads. Completely wrapping Gmail in encryption could possibly create a new hurdle for the company’s business model, which is something that it would likely need to address before making any changes.