Google has revealed that their next mobile operating system, Android L, will encrypt users’ data by default. Apple has also confirmed that devices that are running its latest operating system, iOS8, will also encrypt data by default.
These measures are to make it more difficult for thieves or law enforcement agencies to obtain the data.
This isn’t the first time that Google and Apple have offered encryption for mobile devices but it was optional and needed to be enabled. As a result, many users were actually unaware of the capability to encrypt their data or hadn’t enabled it.
A spokesman for Google stated, “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. 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.”
It is thought that the step to encrypt data by default is more to do with data privacy than protection as US firms will not have to hand data over to law enforcement agencies. As Google and Apple will not possess the data due to it being in an encrypted format and having no knowledge of the encryption keys, it will be unreadable to them.
Google and Apple are already part of an alliance group called Reform Government Surveillance which has been set up in an attempt to persuade the US government to drastically change its surveillance programmes.
It is now very important that any confidential or sensitive data is stored in a secure state as the threat of cyber-thieves is increasing. They are developing more sophisticated methods of attacks as the value of obtaining confidential data is increasing.
Did you know about the data encryption feature? Have you enabled the encryption?