Google and Apple to introduce default encryption
2014-09-22 09:07 by Daniela
Tags: Google, Android, Apple, iOS
Google has recently announced that its next mobile operating system, Android L, will encrypt users' data by default. The statement came a few days after Apple said devices running iOS8 would be encrypted by default. This provision was available earlier for Apple devices but most users were not aware of it or did not enable it.
Google, in turn, began adding encryption tools to devices in 2011 and it was a standard feature of Android Jelly Bean. However, the tool was optional and many users either didn't know how to enable the feature, or weren't aware it existed. Now, any devices that upgrade to Android L next month will have this tool turned on by default, but it can't be disabled.
The introduction of default encryption also protects US firms from having to hand over data to law enforcement agencies. As the companies themselves do not have access to users' passwords, which unlock the encryption, they are not actually in possession of the data concerned.
"For over three years Android has offered encryption, and keys are not stored off of the device, so they cannot be shared with law enforcement," Google said in a statement. "As part of our next Android release, encryption will be enabled by default out of the box, so you won't even have to think about turning it on."
"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," Apple's said in an announcement.
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