Google Takes Back Word On Default Encryption In Android Lollipop
Google has taken its word back about providing switched on default encryption on devices running Android Lollipop.
The decision by the tech giant was first reported on Ars Technica, where it is being said that while Google will not switch encryption on by default in the update, Android Lollipop will still support encryption, and it will be up to the user whether they want to implement it or not, as it has been with all Android versions since 2011.
Reversing a potentially advantageous feature by the leading tech giant is obviously enough to draw headlines. That is why a spokesperson was quick to respond to the queries from ZDNet, where the reason confirmed for the decision was “due to performance issues on some Android partner devices.”
However, Google has made sure to let the users know that they would “remain firmly committed to encryption because it helps keep users safe and secure on the web.” Moreover, while encryption is not being enforced right now, it will definitely be set to default for “future versions” of the mobile operating system.
As of now, only Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 have been bestowed with ingrained encryption with Android L. However, just as Google has claimed, default encryption had led to significant reduction in performance from the devices.
With Edward Snowden’s revelation of government security breaches, and then the more recent Sony hack attack, the mobile market has been on its toes about keeping data secure. Apple had been the first company to declare its venture into mobile security, which led to Google announce immediately that it was to ensure mobile data security by integrating default encryption on the phones running its widely used operating system.
“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.”
This curtailed a series of finger pointing to each other, as Apple CEO had previously claimed that other competitors were not doing anything about securing the privacy of their users:
Unlike our competitors, Apple cannot bypass your passcode and therefore cannot access this data.
As Google has backed down from providing immediate encryption, other companies have took to themselves to grab the opportunity to stand against Android’s huge market share. Just this week, Sailfish Secure was announced by Jolla, which will allow encrypted communications through its OS.