Google, Yahoo Follow IAB’s Advice to Improve HTTPS Encryption

Both Google and Yahoo are continuing to improve their HTTPS encryption, which protects the privacy of information flow in both directions, following recent urging from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB.)

Last month, the IAB wrote a blog post focusing on the importance of making sure that every tag on every page supports HTTPS delivery: ad servers, agency ad servers, beacons from data partners, scripts from verifications and brand safety tools, and any other systems required by the supply chain. To make the change is a bit more complicated than pressing a button, and requires certifications and increased resource requirements on servers.

HTTPS proves the origin of a resource delivered from a server to the Web browser, ensuring trustworthiness and resulting in a larger set of server identifiers. Additionally, given the extra cost of installing malware on its servers, HTTPS decreases the incidence of cyber crime.

Google searches, which use HTTPS as a ranking signal, are already encrypted for many users. Last year, the search giant moved all YouTube ads to HTTPS.

By the end of June, Google will allow its advertisers to serve HTTPS-encrypted display ads to all HTTPS-enabled inventory. Additionally, the majority of mobile, video, and desktop display ads served to the Google Display Network, AdMob, and DoubleClick publishers will be encrypted.

“Strengthening online security helps the advertising industry address the issues such as bot traffic and other types of ad fraud, which allow for more precise audience reach and campaign measurement,” wrote James Deaker, vice president of revenue management and ad policy at Yahoo, in a blog post. “The more companies that join us in working together to improve the overall quality of the ecosystem, the better the experience will be for both advertisers and consumers.”

Yahoo has spent years transitioning to SSL encryption for all publishers with display ads. Most recently, the company implemented an end-to-end encryption extension for Yahoo Mail. On Saturday, Yahoo will also host the Trust UnConference at its San Francisco office to further the discussion on security.

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