Two good pieces of news today. Both Apple and Google have announced that the most recent versions of their mobile operating systems will encrypt user data by default. Google:
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.
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.
Rather than comply with binding court orders, Apple has reworked its latest encryption in a way that prevents the company – or anyone but the device’s owner – from gaining access to the vast troves of user data typically stored on smartphones or tablet computers.
The key is the encryption that Apple mobile devices automatically put in place when a user selects a passcode, making it difficult for anyone who lacks that passcode to access the information within, including photos, e-mails and recordings.