Android 5.0, or ”Lollipop” is being released this month. A cool new feature is it automatically encrypts users data allowing the user exclusive access to their data. This means Google cannot unlock the device even at the request of law enforcement.
Previously users were allowed to encrypt their own information on Android devices since 2011. However this feature has not been widely adopted. By getting rid of the “opt in” approach, all users – including those unaware of security issues, can have their personal information protected.
The Washington Post commented on this saying, “The move to default encryption was initially revealed last month, shortly after Apple announced a similar shift in its latest mobile operating system. It comes as major tech companies have rushed to add layers of security to their products and services in the wake of former contractor Edward Snowden’s revelations about the pervasiveness of data collection by the National Security Agency.
Law enforcement figures have sharply criticised the companies for the encryption, arguing that it will limit the ability of investigators to pursue legitimate warrants. Earlier this month, FBI Director James Comey said he was “deeply concerned” about the companies’ actions in a remarks at a Brookings Institution event, suggesting they had to potential to create a “black hole” that law enforcement could not penetrate.”
So this update certainly has it’s upsides and downsides. This however seems to always be the unfortunate cost of security; better privacy for civilians means better secrecy for terrorists, hackers and thieves. Other advancements in security have also been made recently. Read about the new home security systems here.