Safety and Security

Encryption for everyone: How Adiantum will keep more devices secure

Adiantum Final

Editor's note: February 5 was Safer Internet Day, but we’ll be talking about it all week with a collection of posts from teams from across Google.

Encryption is incredibly important. It underpins our digital security. Encryption encodes data so that it can only be read by individuals with a key. With encryption, you are in complete control of this key, and you can store sensitive information such as personal data securely.

But encryption isn’t always practical, since it would slow some computers, smartphones and other devices to the point of being unusable. That changes with Adiantum, which we are introducing today in the spirit of Safer Internet Day.

Adiantum is a new form of encryption that we built specifically to run on phones and smart devices that don’t have the specialized hardware to use current methods to encrypt locally stored data efficiently. Adiantum is designed to run efficiently without that specialized hardware. This will make the next generation of devices more secure than their predecessors, and allow the next billion people coming online for the first time to do so safely. Adiantum will help secure our connected world by allowing everything from smart watches to internet-connected medical devices to encrypt sensitive data. (For more details about the ins and outs of Adiantum, check out the security blog.)

Our hope is that Adiantum will democratize encryption for all devices. Just like you wouldn’t buy a phone without text messaging, there will be no excuse for compromising security for the sake of device performance. Everyone should have privacy and security, regardless of their phone’s price tag.