Just in time for the weekend and hours-long browsing sessions at home computers, Google’s given privacy advocates a gift. This afternoon, the search giant released the encrypted version of Google Search it mentioned after admitting to collecting sensitive data sent over Wi-Fi networks.
A post on the Official Google Blog shared all of the relevant details. Interestingly, the post was written by Evan Roseman, a software engineer, rather than Peter Fleischer, Google’s global privacy counsel, or perhaps Marissa Mayer or even Eric Schmidt.
Still, Roseman explained, "When you search on https://www.google.com, an encrypted connection is created between your browser and Google. This secured channel helps protect your search terms and your search results pages from being intercepted by a third party on your network. The service includes a modified logo to help indicate that you’re searching using SSL and that you may encounter a somewhat different Google search experience . . ."
Later, Roseman added, "Today’s release comes with a ‘beta’ label for a few reasons. First, it currently covers only the core Google web search product. To help avoid misunderstanding, when you search using SSL, you won’t see links to offerings like Image Search and Maps that, for the most part, don’t support SSL at this time. Also, since SSL connections require additional time to set up the encryption between your browser and the remote web server, your experience with search over SSL might be slightly slower than your regular Google search experience."
It seems possible that this development will leave Bing and Yahoo looking unsafe to some users. Let us know in the comments section what you make of the encrypted search option, and perhaps (since Google probably won’t share much data) some polls and surveys can sort out other people’s opinions next week.