Google to turn on encryption by default in next Android version

Law enforcement would have to approach a device's owner since the encryption keys are stored on the device

Google is turning on data encryption by default in the next version of Android, a step that mirrors broad moves in the technology industry to ensure better data security.

Android has been capable of encryption for more than three years, with the keys stored on the device, according to a Google spokesman.

That means Google or another service provider wouldn't be able to provide access to the encrypted data. Law enforcement would have to approach the device's user. Android L, which is still in a developer preview mode, is due for release before the end of the year.

Turning encryption on by default means one less step for users, who may not even be aware of the option. It also protects users in other scenarios, such as if they lose their phone.

Many developers are striving to make applications and systems where they do not hold encryption keys, which could be obtained by law enforcement through a court order.

While many technology companies have vowed to fight overly broad court orders for the government that seek data, the companies generally have to comply with ones with a proper focus.

But if only encrypted data passes through their data centers, and the keys to unlock the data remain in possession of their users, there's little to turn over, which is what many service providers these days would prefer.

On Wednesday, Apple sought to assure its customers about how it handles data. The company said it doesn't have access to data protected by a passcode in iOS 8, making it impossible for it to comply with a government warrant.

Earlier this week, Apple also made two-step verification an option for its iCloud online storage service following the theft of nude photos from the accounts of celebrities.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Googlesecurityencryption

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?