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Newest Androids to Offer Default Encryption, Blocking Police Searches

September 19, 2014  | 

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, reports the Washington Post.

Android has offered optional encryption on some devices since 2011, but security experts say few users have known how to turn on the feature. Now Google is designing the activation procedures for new Android devices so that encryption happens automatically; only somebody who enters a device's password will be able to see the pictures, videos and communications stored on those smartphones.

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.

Both companies have now embraced a form of encryption that in most cases will make it impossible for law enforcement officials to collect evidence from smartphones – even when authorities get legally binding search warrants.

Related:

Apple to No Longer Unlock Most Devices for Police


Comments (2)

Displaying 1 - 2 of 2

Ima Leprechaun @ 9/22/2014 5:51 AM

I understand why Police want this information but I have to agree with personal privacy on this one. This data is too easily obtained and should if possible only be accessed by Law Enforcement using a valid search warrant. Too many police departments use this information for "fishing trips" and have no business accessing this data. If this data is truly needed for legal purposes then a search warrant is easily obtained. The data in question is not saved by the user so there is no threat that it could be destroyed or be in jeopardy of loss but is saved by the provider and it should carry the same protection as any personal document covered by the US Constitution.

Iamnota Leprechaun @ 9/22/2014 11:04 AM

Most text contents are not SAVED by the provider. Who you text with, date and time - is stored by the provider. However the actual content of the message is not. And cell phones can not be examined unless the police have consent to search - or a search warrant.

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