Google says encrypted searches are optional

Neowin has been contacted by Google Global Communications Officer, Jay Nancarrow, who said in a follow up to this story posted two weeks ago: "I wanted to reach out to let you know that we have not made any changes to make encrypted search a default option. It remains an optional feature for those who want to take advantage of tools to help them better protect their information."

Instead, it's highly likely that users who appeared to get a default encrypted search option, probably got it through auto-complete.

Currently, Google only offers web searches over SSL, other search products like Google Images and Google Maps are not available over SSL. When you're searching over SSL, these properties may not appear in the left panel.

The news came after a discussion started in our forums that the Google Chrome browser had appeared to start using https://encrypted.google.com as default, instead of the unencrypted http://www.google.com site.

Google has posted a document explaining the feature, "With Google search over SSL, you can have an end-to-end encrypted search solution between your computer and Google. This secured channel helps protect your search terms and your search results pages from being intercepted by a third party. This provides you with a more secure and private search experience."

In any case, the option is a welcome one for users worried about their wireless data being tapped.

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11 Comments

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Google still knows what your searching. At least your ISP won't know but then, you go to the website from what you just searched and they will know what your looking at anyway. Seems a bit pointless. More like PR.

OceanMotion said,
Google still knows what your searching. At least your ISP won't know but then, you go to the website from what you just searched and they will know what your looking at anyway. Seems a bit pointless. More like PR.

Huh? PR? More like: People on an airport, café, or other public WLAN will now no longer be able to see what you search. Of course Google and the destination site will still know what you're searching and finding, but that can be far, far less people than otherwise.

OceanMotion said,
Google still knows what your searching. At least your ISP won't know but then, you go to the website from what you just searched and they will know what your looking at anyway.
Thats pretty much exactly what I thought too...

OceanMotion said,
Google still knows what your searching. At least your ISP won't know but then, you go to the website from what you just searched and they will know what your looking at anyway. Seems a bit pointless. More like PR.

Yep. I think that all your web should be encrypted to 1024 bits that the snoopers take a couple of centuries to break. You can look at my info after i am dead like 2 times over. Thats the only time you have the right to my info!

Northgrove said,

Huh? PR? More like: People on an airport, café, or other public WLAN will now no longer be able to see what you search. Of course Google and the destination site will still know what you're searching and finding, but that can be far, far less people than otherwise.
Are you kidding me? So people at cafes are looking for your ****ing search keywords? Really? That's what you come up with in areply? Don't you think Google still gets all your keywords? Are people at a cafe worse than Google? Lets say you are at a cafe while someone else is using Google. Now according to your comment, you're the bad Guy. Ridiculous comments like yours make me really angry.

Google does far worse things with your information including search keywords than some 10-20 people you see at a cafe.

This is by far the most useless thing Google has created which they choose to market which is only good for PR. Idiots with no tech knowledge assume that this makes them secure. Idiots!!