Google and Apple to join the Blackberry bandwagon of Default Encryption
With increasing cases of hacking and government spying, users are becoming more and more disturbed about their privacy and online security. Users using the Blackberry devices have been able to enjoy encryption by default, thereby have been having little to no reason to get alarmed.
However, most users of Google and Apple devices have not been enjoying such level of data security. This despite the fact of both tech companies availing the option of data encryption for users, although it was not the default setting as it is on Blackberry devices.
Most users have not been aware of, or simply did not activate the encryption option on their devices, thus exposing them to various hacking and online privacy security threats. In a move to address this situation, both Google and Apple have taken deliberate steps to ensure that encryption becomes the default setup in all of their devices.
On Thursday (Sept. 18th), Apple announced that all devices that will be running the iOS8 operating system will be encrypted by default. This will also mean that even Apple itself will be unable to access its customers’ data.
In an online post, Tim Cook, Apple’s boss, said, “great customer experience shouldn’t come at the expense of your privacy.” He also made the announcement that all devices running its new iOS 8 OS will have encryption set on by default. Cook went further to hit at Google by saying the following remarks:
“We don’t monetize the information you store on your iPhone or in iCloud…and we don’t read your email or your messages to get information to market to you.”
Cook further said that although Apple too is aggressive in its advertising business through its iAd, users have the option of turning it off at their own will.
“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.”
The move for default encryptions will be most appreciated by US firms who to take it kindly to their data being handed over to law enforcement authorities. Since the tech companies themselves will not have access to users’ passwords, to unlock the encryption. This means they will not be able to hand over user information to law enforcement authorities even if a legal warrant demands them to do so.
A senior researcher at Kaspersky Lab, David Emm, told BBC that the automation of encryption was “probably more about privacy that about protection.”
“Customers will find some reassurance in the fact that their data can’t routinely fall into 3rd party hands,” said Emm.
He went further to caution that this only, “applies to stuff on a (Apple or Android) device, but not necessarily to stuff you put in the cloud, which could still be accessible to law enforcement agencies.”