Me-too Google: Uh, okay, we’ll do default encryption like Apple, too (it’ll just take several years to roll out)

“The next generation of Google’s Android operating system, due for release next month, will encrypt data by default for the first time, the company said Thursday, raising yet another barrier to police gaining access to the troves of personal data typically kept on smartphones,” Craig Timberg reports for The Washington Post. “”

“The move offers Android, the world’s most popular operating system for smartphones, a degree of protection that resembles what Apple on Wednesday began providing for iPhones, the leading rival to devices running Android operating systems,” Timberg reports. “Both companies have now embraced a form of encryption that will make extremely difficult for law enforcement officials to collect evidence from smartphones in most situations – even when authorities get legally binding search warrants.”

“There remain significant differences between how Apple and Google are handling encryption. Apple, which controls both the hardware and software on its devices, will be able to deliver the updated encryption on both new iPhones and iPad and also most older ones, as users update their operating systems with the latest release, iOS 8. That is likely to happen over the next several weeks, and for those with iOS 8, the encryption will be so secure that the company says it will lack the technical ability to unlock the phones or recover data for anyone,” Timberg reports. “By contrast, Google does not have the ability to deliver its updated operating system, called the ‘L-release,’ quickly to most users… The newest Android devices will likely ship with default encryption after October, but it will take many months and probably years before most Android devices have encryption by default.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: More reactive, me-too, not-really-the-same half-assery out of fragmandroid land.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]

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27 Comments

  1. MDN showing their mastery of the headline! Saves so much time, not needing to read the story. Almost as satisfying as viewing a movie trailer that telegraphs the plot, and saving $14 and two hours.

    1. Just make sure you don’t forget your password. It happens to people. Apple will no longer be able to recover the data on your phone like they use to.
      I’m NOT saying Apple made the wrong choice, you just need to be more careful.

  2. Believe it or not there are still about 20% of Android devices running Gingerbread and I don’t think those users are going to get any encryption by default until all those devices are designated for landfill. There is so much update lag on the Android platform it’s really quite unbelievable. The whole platform seems to be designed to create orphaned devices within such a short time yet Wall Street thinks it’s such a wonderful platform. Insane.

  3. There is no longer any need to use Google, or be subjected to its incessant tracking, uninspired products and services.

    Google Service………………Service I use
    Search Engine……………….DuckDuckGo.com
    …………………………………..Bing
    …………………………………..Wolfram Alpha

    Google Docs………………….Apple Pages / iCloud
    Google Sheets……………….Apple Numbers / iCloud
    …………………………………..Excel / iCloud / Dropbox

    Google Presentation……….Apple Keynote / iCloud
    Google Drive…………………Dropbox / iCloud –> iCloud Drive
    GMAIL…………………………. iCloud Mail (mac.com / me.com )

    *I still use Gmail for garbage throwaway email addresses.

    Android………………………….iOS (iPhone, iPad, etc.)

    1. my recommendations:

      browser: Firefox with Adblock and Flashblock, also Opera and Safari on occasion.

      search engine: DDG, Wolfram Alpha, & Yahoo. All need development and better interfaces for intelligent searching/filtering.

      documents: MS Excel & Word, Adobe Pro, Apple Keynote, Mariner stuff, etc. Document search and tagging using Yep

      real work: audio and video editors that don’t have anything to do with Google or Apple, and will never save or sync to anyone else’s cloud server

      drives: local solid state startup volume; local solid state working volumes; solid local hard drives + NAS + automatic backup to secure remote drives, all on site. All iOS devices synced nightly by cable only. Mac Pro is connected to an IPS to prevent ungraceful crash in an electrical storm.

      mail: Apple Mail through business mail server Extensive scripting to improve functionality. Yahoo junkmail account.

      maps: still using Google when Apple Maps doesn’t get the job done.

      It goes without saying that proxy servers and firewalls are absolute necessities to prevent hackers from accessing our local network.

      Yes, Google is almost fully replaceable. If only Apple would improve Maps faster. Still very poor in many areas and no public transit, and driving directions are too slow to be useful.

  4. Android, the worlds most popular operating system… whaaaaaaaattttt? :-O
    If you mean to tell me that being forced on the ignorant masses like Winblows was, that every crappy device maker uses it because its free, then popular must be synonymous with horse feathers Wilbur!!!!

  5. So basically being ‘default’ encrypted makes all the difference? I have my Galaxy S2 Encrypted via the settings for both device and SD card. And with a version of the OS that’s 2 generations old.

      1. Point is the title makes it sound as if encryption is new for Google and iOS will have default encryption on all iPhone devices, even those that will not be able to upgrade to iOS8. 😛 If you’re going to compare, compare iOS8 upgradable devices to the sane for Android L.

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