Less than a day after Apple detailed new efforts in user privacy for its products, Google now says it plans to encrypt user data on all Android devices. Speaking to The Washington Post, Google says data encryption will now be a part of the activation process instead of an optional feature. The end result is that whatever data is stored on that device, be it a phone or tablet, will be inaccessible unless the person has the correct password.
"You won't even have to think about turning it on."
"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," a Google spokesperson told The Verge. "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."
In Apple's case, the company already began encrypting user data for all users as part of iOS 8, a free update that became available yesterday. The company said that not even it can bypass a user passcode to access their data, tying its hands from offering such a service to law enforcement officials.
Google's already outlined its plans for the next version of Android, called Android L. Much of the change is visual, with Google moving to a new look it's calling Material Design, though the company made some major changes to the software underpinnings. While there's no firm release date yet, Google said in June to expect it sometime later this year.