Google said Thursday that it now uses secure encryption HTTPS for all Gmail messages moving across its servers. Secure search has been a default since 2010, but the recent change means no one can listen in on messages as they go back and forth between the reader and Gmail's servers, even when accessing accounts through a public WiFi.
The "S" in HTTPS in the URL stands for Secure, while the HTTP stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol. A Google spokesperson said the secure search will influence ad targeting served up in the right column of the Gmail window. Tweaks, likely on the platform's back end, will keep the accuracy of target keywords in bid actions with the keyword appearing in the email.
Consumers like to hear about new products via email as long as they have opted into the brand's notifications. Eighty-three percent of marketers segment email customers by past activity data, such as open-and-click activity, per Experian Marketing Services.
Google CEO Larry Page, during a Q&A at the TED conference in Vancouver on Thursday, said the NSA's actions had not been done with the company’s knowledge and were a threat to democracy. Skeptics say encryption won't stop the NSA from spying. Americans don't need to know the specific terrorist acts they're protecting us from, but they should know the perimeters are and the type of surveillance the government will do and why, he said.
"The world is changing; if you carry a phone it knows where you are," Page said. "There's so much more information about you."