Android’s trust problem isn’t getting better

“Published today, a two-year study of Android security updates has revealed a distressing gap between the software patches Android companies claim to have on their devices and the ones they actually have,” Vlad Savov writes for The Verge. “Your phone’s manufacturer may be lying to you about the security of your Android device. In fact, it appears that almost all of them do.”

“Coming at the end of a week dominated by Mark Zuckerberg’s congressional hearings and an ongoing Facebook privacy probe, this news might seem of lesser importance, but it goes to the same issue that has drawn lawmakers’ scrutiny to Facebook: the matter of trust,” Savov writes. “Facebook is the least-trusted big US tech company, and Android might just be the operating system equivalent of it: used by 2 billion people around the world, tolerated more than loved, and susceptible to major lapses in user privacy and security.”

“The gap between Android and its nemesis [née progenitor – MDN Ed.], Apple’s iOS, has always boiled down to trust,” Savov writes. “Unlike Google, Apple doesn’t make its money by tracking the behavior of its users, and unlike the vast and varied Android ecosystem, there are only ever a couple of iPhone models, each of which is updated with regularity and over a long period of time. Android is perceived as untrustworthy in large part because it is. Beside the matter of security level misrepresentations, here are some of the other major issues and villains plaguing the platform…”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: You’re not saving any real money, you’re just making your life exceedingly more difficult and wasting tons of time by settling for a fake iPhone. Get a real iPhone.

The more people are educated about unchecked data collection and the more who value their privacy, the better Apple’s sales will be. Today, it’s literally Apple against the world.MacDailyNews, July 14, 2017

People who value privacy and security use Apple products.MacDailyNews, September 12, 2015

Android phone makers skip Google security updates without telling users, researchers say – April 13, 2018
Android malware found inside apps downloaded from Google Play has infected at least a million users – March 26, 2018
Facebook has been collecting call history and SMS data from Android devices for years; Apple iOS devices unaffected – March 25, 2018
New Android malware records ambient audio, fires off premium-rate texts, and harvests files, photos, contacts, and more – March 2, 2018
Android malware apps with over 1 million downloads slip past Google Play defenses – twice! – September 14, 2017
How to upgrade from Android to a real Apple iPhone – August 21, 2017
Video: Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks at Cisco Live, blasts Android’s shoddy security – June 26, 2017
Security expert: There are several reasons why Apple iPhones are more secure than Android phones – May 31, 2017
Russian hacker gang robbed Russian banks with over one million hacked Android phones – May 22, 2017
36 widely-used Android devices ship with malware preinstalled – March 14, 2017
The cost of free: More than one million Google Android devices hit by malware – November 30, 2016
Secret backdoor in U.S. Android phones sent location, text, contact data to China – November 15, 2016
Google’s Android platform has a serious flaw – August 23, 2016
Poor man’s iPhone: Android on the decline – February 26, 2015
Study: iPhone users are smarter and richer than those who settle for Android phones – January 22, 2015
Why Android users can’t have the nicest things – January 5, 2015
iPhone users earn significantly more than those who settle for Android phones – October 8, 2014
Yet more proof that Android is for poor people – June 27, 2014
More proof that Android is for poor people – May 13, 2014
Android users poorer, shorter, unhealthier, less educated, far less charitable than Apple iPhone users – November 13, 2013
IDC data shows two thirds of Android’s 81% smartphone share are cheap junk phones – November 13, 2013
CIRP: Apple iPhone users are younger, richer, and better educated than those who settle for Samsung knockoff phones – August 19, 2013


  1. FB & Android in the service of the NSA.

    Should the US Congress even think of making FB & Android less open, more secure, the NSA, which has oodles of data on each legislator’s picadillos and shenanigans, would blackmail those legislators to stop or else.

  2. Android is the single most EVIL software Google provides. The sooner it’s D E A D the better. There WILL be something better to compete with Apple’s iOS. There must be. In this day and age, the constant and consistent security catastrophes of Android are shameful. Android is THE prime target at this time for demolition in the name of device security.

    1. Privacy — better characterised as personal security to counter the mouth-breathers’ mantra of national security — MUST win the public-relations battle, else we are likely to devolve into another dark ages of fiefdoms, princes and paupers, and the ascent of ideology over rationality. Yes—I said it! It’s the battle of the century. Battle lines are already forming. Can democracy hold out against neo-authoritarianism? Here’s the thing, it seems to me: democratic elections can advance anyone at all, authoritarians or even gangsters. That ought to be tolerable, in theory, since they supposedly can be removed from office in the next election. But here is where privacy (personal security) comes in: who controls information, controls the world. When powerful people know all about us, they can and do manipulate elections, and pressure us in many ways. That subverts democracy, turns it into an extortionocracy. Russia, Iran, Turkey, United States?

      The only way to avoid that Big Brother scenario is to preserve privacy (personal security), at any cost. Humanity stands at the brink; and a few, untested men have their sweaty hands on the switches than can make technology either free us or plunge us into slavery. God, I wish Abraham Lincoln were running Google.

  3. I was wondering if the new Oreo Cookie OS would now be secure enough to use, but then I read the story about FB harvesting everything on Android phones. Does it not matter what version OS, but that you allowed Messenger onto the phone?

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