Google experimenting with server-side encryption for Drive

by: Kyle WiggersJuly 17, 2013

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Google may add options to encrypt files uploaded to Google Drive in the future. That’s according to an article by a CNET reporter, whose sources confirmed the search giant was experimenting with data protection mechanisms designed for cloud storage.

Most major companies that offer online storage rely on encrypted connections to transfer files. However, few, including Google, store uploaded files securely. The reasons are largely technical: encrypting and indexing files server-side requires additional computing power and new indexing solutions. That’s not to say it’s impossible; despite the difficulties involved a number of digital lockers offering encryption have popped up in recent years, as law enforcement actions against file sharing services have popularized the idea of such services.


Google’s encryption may, depending on the way it’s implemented, placate consumers frustrated with the company’s apparent participation in a government data-sharing operation known as PRISM. (Google denies it provides direct file access to the government.) Presumably, if Google were to locally and securely store the keys necessary to decrypt users files, third parties would have a much tougher time accessing data. Encryption is a tricky business, though, and even the encryption mechanisms provided by services that purport to have rock-solid security contain more flaws than they’d like to admit.

Would you feel safer if Google began offering encryption on drive? Let us know in the comments.

  • Lei

    > Would you feel safer if Google began offering encryption on drive?

    Obviously noone but naive morons should. Verbal promises engage noone. Even scammers and data thieves can take advantage of the current scare to “offer privacy” and make a killing at it.

  • zhenxinnian tygh


    As long has Google has the key to decrypt, law enforcement will compel them to turn it over. YOU need to keep the key safe, it’s the only way. Use MEGA!

    • MasterMuffin

      Read the “contain more flaws than they’d like to admit”

  • rover

    there’s no need for that.
    you can always use standard cloud storage but encrypt files yourself before storing in. kept the encryption key on your own device locally.

    remember, the safest de/encryption is the one that occurs on your device, locally.

  • JimAlaska


  • yo

    hahahah Google will freely give all the info to the gov. anyway!

  • Kathryn Glen

    I cant get google anymore on my android phone or samsung tablet i dont know why.have been trying for days to rectify this with no luck.frustrated!!