This may seem like a long time coming, but according to the Washington Post, devices running the Android L version of the OS, essentially Android L itself, will finally be offering data encryption for users right out of the box. The Android L release is imminent, which means we’re close to having a little extra protection from outfits like the U.S. government or local and state police being able to tap into devices for the purpose of obtaining user data. This new default feature may not be the most exciting when we think about fresh features and new tweaks that Google is making to the OS, but it is certainly one of the most important, especially when you consider the rise in collected user data through breaches we’ve heard about recently.
The important detail is not that encryption will finally be included within Android, but included within Android L by default, meaning that all devices running on L will have this encryption turned on from the start and thus eliminating the task of having to look for and turn on the feature yourself, which is something that everyone should be happy about. The only downside we see here is that devices not currently running Android L will have to wait until an update comes through before they can take advantage of the new security push, which is not ideal, but the other option is buying a completely new phone that has L running on it, of which there will be a fairly limited supply, presumably just the two upcoming Nexus devices that have been rumored to be waiting in the wings.
Google is big on protecting users from would be intruders, which includes the NSA or any other form of government trying to obtain access, and allowing for a default encryption to be in place helps to take the spotlight off themselves should any issues arise in the future. Of course, the idea of the encryption is to stop this sort of activity from happening in the first place, and while it’s probably not impossible for intruders to break through this upcoming new security protocol, it will likely do a good job at stopping plenty of attempted breaches. What are your thoughts on this new encryption feature due to be released alongside the new version of the OS? Are you glad that Android is finally making this a default setting? Or is that happy feeling met with an equal amount of disappointment that it wasn’t a default feature years ago? Post your thoughts in the G+ comments.