Google testing removal of secure website indicator on Chrome

Gelo Gonzales
Google testing removal of secure website indicator on Chrome

Rappler photo

In a potential change coming to Chrome 93, HTTPS sites will no longer show the lock symbol while those using only HTTP will continue to show a 'Not secure' warning

Google Chrome is looking to remove the secure lock symbol shown beside a URL in future iterations of the browser. 

The tech news site Bleeping Computer spotted the change in the Chrome 93 Beta and Chrome 94 Canary builds. Canary builds of Chrome are more experimental versions. 

The development is important to everyone who has come to rely on looking at the lock symbol to decide whether a site is secure or not. A lock symbol means a website is using encrypted HTTPS while a warning saying “Not secure” is shown for insecure HTTP sites. 

On an HTTP site, for example, someone may be able to monitor a person inputting sensitive data such as their password or credit card credentials in plain text. An HTTPS encrypts this information, stopping a potential data breach. 

Google has been one of the most vocal campaigners for HTTPS, even including it as a factor in search rankings. 

With the potential design change, however, users will still be able to identify insecure HTTP sites as Chrome will continue to show the “Not secure” warning for those sites. Meanwhile, HTTPS sites, on default, will no longer be displayed with a lock, leaving only the URL. 

Bleeping Computer notes that about 90% of the sites that Chrome users connect to now use HTTPS, which is perhaps the reason why Google may be looking to sunset the feature. 

The change is in testing though, and we’ll have to wait and see for ourselves on August 31, 2021 when the Chrome 93 comes out. – 

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Gelo Gonzales

Gelo Gonzales is Rappler’s technology editor. He covers consumer electronics, social media, emerging tech, and video games.