Major internet companies like Google and Yahoo have tried convincing users about the safety and security of their information. They’ve adopted encryption methods to ensure that users’ private and personal information remains safe. A new report suggests that Google is trying to make complex encryption tools easier to use, particularly with popular services like Gmail. If the report is correct then Google might be working on PGP or Pretty Good Privacy for Gmail, which would basically be much stronger end-to-end encryption for emails.

PGP is an encryption utility that has almost always proven to be difficult to break into. A person “familiar with the matter” at Google tells VentureBeat that Google has “research underway to improve the usability of PGP with Gmail.” Even if this gives users the best defense for message protection, it will come with a considerable cost in functionality.

Concern for online security rose following the NSA revelations last year. Stronger end-to-end encryption will certainly be appreciated by Gmail users, but it does present a problem for Google’s ad business. PGP protected emails would require keys which only the sender and recipient would have. Ideally Google won’t have access to them, meaning that it won’t be able to scan emails to serve targeted advertisements because the text would be encrypted.

Despite the report, Google hasn’t commented on the possibility of PGP in Gmail, so to be absolutely sure we’ll have to wait on official word from Mountain View.

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