I’m not old enough to have lived during the Watergate scandal of the Nixon era, but I was taught about it growing up. End-to-end encryption has become an industry standard for real-time communications as a result of this and other past incidents, and the fact that Google Fi hasn’t had it up until now is just weird, honestly. To rectify this, the company is implementing it now so that you can have peace of mind while conversing with loved ones or conducting business deals over the phone!
End-to-end encryption is a complex term for a simple idea: that no one besides you and the person you’re talking to should be able to hear what you’re saying over the phone.The Keyword
As you may recall from our article earlier today on the Google One VPN expanding to 10 more countries, it’s National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. In response, Google has focused on adding privacy and security-respecting features across Android, Chrome (HTTPS-First Mode), and its services including Fi.
Messages by Google already has encryption built-in for one-on-one conversations so long as both chat participants have the app installed, are using it, and have “chat features” enabled. Having this same protection now expand to live calls to help guard your data and privacy and that of the call recipient is a welcome addition, I must admit, but once again, Google seems to launch features well after the service and treats them as special or exclusive, even though they ought to be essentials.
My frustrations aside, you can benefit from end-to-end encryption while making Fi calls over the next few weeks as the company rolls it out gradually. As you can see from the image above, if a call is encrypted, a lock icon with the message “Encrypted by Google Fi” will appear at the top of the call screen just under the contact’s image. Let me know in the comments if you’re interested in this or if you agree that it’s weird to have not launched the service with encryption in the first place.