Yahoo will offer its users full end-to-end email encryption and compatibility with Google’s own end-to-end email encryption at some point in 2015, CNET reports, as Yahoo chief information security officer Alex Stamos on Thursday confirmed the company’s email encryption plans at the Black Hat conference.
End-to-end email encryption will make it harder for third parties to snoop on user data, and it’s a step forward for Yahoo, which has already encrypted email at the data center level. The company hopes to work with other email providers in the future, in addition to Google.
“What this means is that eventually not only will Yahoo Mail users be able to communicate in an encrypted manner with other Yahoo Mail users, but also with Gmail users and eventually with other email systems that adopt similar methodologies,” Stamos said.
“We don’t have any other providers to talk about yet, but the hope is that this is open and will be adopted by many others in the email ecosystem,” a Yahoo spokeswoman said.
Yahoo will be offering its encryption source code to the community this fall, just like Google, hoping that its security will be further improved with help from Yahoo Mail users.
Combined, Google and Yahoo have almost 700 million email users, with Yahoo’s email usage estimated at over 273 million accounts.