Google Steps Up Against Apple With Default Encryption Feature In Android L
Just a day after Apple announced its super-tight security of customers’ data stored on their phones running iOS 8, Google came forth with its version of mobile data security by declaring that the upcoming Android L will have integrated data encryption features by default.
This step taken by Google will prevent both thieves and law enforcement agencies from accessing personal information in mobile devices which run on Google’s Android operating system.
Though data encryption has always been available in Android since 2011, it was optional. With Edward Snowden’s revelation of government security breaches, the mobile market has been on its toes about keeping data secure. Thus, for the first time, the upcoming Android will have new features which will activate encryption automatically.
“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.”
Unlike our competitors, Apple cannot bypass your passcode and therefore cannot access this data.
Moreover, Christopher Soghoian, a leading technologist at the American Civil Liberties Union has been reported as claiming: “The public has said they want companies to put their privacy first, and Apple has listened.”
This obviously must have been blow to the tech giant Google, which is generally considered perfect in every matter.
After the whole Edward Snowden and NSA episode, things at the data security departments have never been the same. Major emphasis is being placed on encryption and techniques which could fight off access to private and sensitive information. Google is already collaborating with Yahoo on developing and providing a new end-to-end encryption system that ensures emails are secure from spying agencies.
Though the whole ordeal is pretty relieving for the users and companies, law enforcement officials do not seem so happy about it. According to them, encrypting data and making it inaccessible to government search warrants will only make tracing criminal activity and fighting crime more difficult.
Google and Apple have been at dagger heads with their competition of ruling over the mobile market. As of Q2 2014, Android gets the bigger slice of market pie at 84.7%, whereas iOS has 11.7% of the pie according to IDC.
Though both companies are introducing the default encryption feature in their upcoming generations of operating systems, the impact and method of the process is different in each case. Since Apple owns the software and hardware of its devices, it is easier for the company to implement this encryption feature in all its upcoming products and updates.
However, Google is fragmented, as the hardware is owned by various companies, and not everyone has the same version of Android in their devices as the older devices support older editions of the OS. Hence, delivering the encryption to all Android users will be comparatively difficult and more time consuming than Apple.