Only Two Percent Of Android Phones Are Encrypted

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However nearly all iPhones have their data protected, raising further debates over privacy issues

Android phone users have been warned to keep a close eye on the protection of the data on their devices after it was revealed that hardly any phones featuring the software have encryption included.

According to the Wall Street Journal, only two percent of Android phones have encryption, compared to nearly 95 percent of Apple’s iPhones

This could mean that users are having their private data and personal information snooped on by outside forces, such as government or law enforcement organisations.

At risk?

data encryptionThe root of the issue seems to lie with the fact that there are many versions of Android that are currently supported by Google. Estimates from the WSJ project that there are around 1.4 billion Android devices in the world today, made by over 400 manufacturers across 4,000 separate designs.

An unexpected downside to the huge popularity of Android devices, the sheer fragmentation of the software across millions of devices means that it was previously difficult for Google to include data encryption.

In fact, the company only introduced the protection with the latest version of Android, 6.0 Marshmallow, where it began included full-disk encryption on the newest devices, meaning that the vast majority of Android devices lack proper protection.

Google also gives away its Android software to attract more users to its services, as although the company requires customers to include the Android brand and key Google services such as search and maps, the device makers are ultimately free to use the software as they wish.

This is in significant contrast to Apple, which builds all the software and hardware for its mobile devices, and constantly prompts users to upgrade to the latest version of iOS, meaning all its devices rapidly become equipped with encryption.

This stance has become extremely pertinent in recent weeks, as Apple has been engaged in a struggle with the FBI regarding the unlocking of the iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino terrorists, Syed Rizwan Farook.

Apple has refused to co-operate over the matter, and said that the move violates its constitutional rights and that law enforcement authorities are seeking “dangerous powers”.

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