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CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT NEWS. UPDATED 7 MINUTES AGO.
You are here: Home / Mobile Security / Android To Be Encrypted by Default
As in iOS 8, Android Data To Be Encrypted by Default
As in iOS 8, Android Data To Be Encrypted by Default
By Shirley Siluk / CRM Daily Like this on Facebook Tweet this Link thison Linkedin Link this on Google Plus
PUBLISHED:
SEPTEMBER
19
2014
The next generation of Google's Android operating system -- known as Android L -- will have data encryption turned on by default, according to The Washington Post. This move puts Google in the same company as Apple, which this week unveiled a new privacy strategy that makes it harder for anyone but an iPhone's owner to access content on such devices.

Default encryption for Android and iOS essentially takes Google and Apple out of the equation when it comes to law enforcement and government agencies' efforts to access content on a person's mobile device. Such efforts have been widely criticized by technology companies since former National Security Agency contract employee Edward Snowden revealed how much personal data the NSA has been able to intercept via phones and online communications around the world.

While many Android devices already provide users with an encryption option, those running the updated Android L operating system -- set for release in October -- will have that option activated automatically. That means only a person with the device's password will be able to view stored content like text messages, photos and videos.

Bypass 'Not Technically Feasible'

With encryption switched on by default and passwords residing only with an Android device's owner, Google will not have any way to bypass that person's security, even if it were to be served with a warrant by authorities. The same holds true for Apple devices running the latest version of Apple's mobile operating system, iOS 8.

"I want to be absolutely clear that we have never worked with any government agency from any country to create a back door in any of our products or services," Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement describing his company's updated privacy policy. "We have also never allowed access to our servers. And we never will."

Apple's privacy policy provides further details on how the company handles governments requests for device user information:

"On devices running iOS 8, your personal data such as photos, messages (including attachments), e-mail, contacts, call history, iTunes content, notes, and reminders is placed under the protection of your passcode," the Apple Web page says. "Unlike our competitors, Apple cannot bypass your passcode and therefore cannot access this data. So it's not technically feasible for us to respond to government warrants for the extraction of this data from devices in their possession running iOS 8."

Cloud Still Vulnerable

While Google is taking the same approach as Apple, Android devices will not be as quick or easy to update as iPhones are, The Washington Post points out. That's because Apple maintains control over both its device software and hardware, while Android devices are manufactured and distributed by many different companies around the world.

As the article notes, "it will take many months and probably years before most Android devices have encryption by default."

Other observers have pointed out that encryption by default will not ensure the security of mobile device data that is stored in the cloud. Law enforcement and government agencies could still request the release of data stored on a cloud service provider's servers. Cloud-based storage has also proven vulnerable to hackers, as evidenced by the release in August of nude photos stolen from several celebrities' iCloud backups.

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

Bob:
Posted: 2014-10-18 @ 3:21am PT
I bypass icloud activation on my iphone with software from this page http://www.hacktivateiphone.com/

Matt:
Posted: 2014-09-19 @ 7:14pm PT
The 3GS was encrypted by default.

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