Android L, once it is eventually released, will feature data encryption turned on by default. This information has been revealed by Niki Christoff, spokeswoman for Google. And in doing so, the Mountain View company is joining Apple in the battle for user privacy and security.
Data encryption is nothing new in Android, as it has been available on certain Android devices since 2011. With the upcoming Android L release, which should happen next month, Google will add procedures to make the encryption automatic. This means that only those users who enter the device password will be able to listen to music, watch videos, or see the pictures on the device when it is connected to a computer or accessed manually.
“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.”
– Google spokeswoman Niki Christoff
Google’s move is not surprising. Turning on an encryption is a response to Apple’s actions, as iOS 8 offers similar protection enabled by default as well. Both companies have now embraced a form of encryption that in most cases will make it much more difficult or impossible for law enforcement officials to collect evidence from users’ smartphones.
It remains to be seen whether this encryption will affect aftermarket Android development. TWRP already supports encrypted devices, so flashing a ZIP should still be possible. Hopefully Google will not change the encryption methods and just turn the feature on by default. Everything will be known next month when we see Android L’s official premiere.
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