Smartphones today have become the hub of a lot of our personal data. Right from music to videos to pictures and countless documents, smartphones are nothing less than a locker, whose keys you cannot afford to lose. Given the recent iCloud security breach, one thing that has continuously been talked about is data encryption and how important that is. Obviously the data in iCloud is encrypted and the turn of events were unfortunate, but by default the data on your Android phone or any phone for that matter is not encrypted.
However, Android phones with Android 4.2 and above do have the feature where they can encrypt even the local data, yet this feature is off by default. Most of us, when trying to toggle the feature on have faced a warning that encryption can only happen when the device is completely charged or charging and as a result, let go of it as it is also a time taking process. However, looks like Google has realised the importance of keeping the data safe and as a result will be enabling the encryption option by default on your Android phones if they run Android L.
The way encryption works is that the contents of your device will only be visible when it is connected to a computer when you enter the valid passcode. This way, your pictures, music files etc will be safe. Niki Christoff, the Google Spokesperson, confirmed the news, saying:
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.
With iOS 8 providing a similar feature, one thing is for sure, that most of the major mobile OS producers are realising how important is the safety of the locally stored data is for the users. It does have a downside too, such as issues in aftermarket development or difficulty in solving out major crimes done using mobiles, given all the data will be encrypted, but hey, privacy has its own price too.