With iOS 8, Apple has made iPhones virtually police-proof. This means all the data on iPhones is now encrypted by default and only a user can decrypt it using the passcode. Unlike the old days Apple would not be able to decrypt this data using some sort of master key. Even if police or government agencies approach Apple to seek user data stored in an iPhone, Apple will not be able to help them.
Now, just a day after iOS 8 became available to end-users, Google has said that its Android L, which would start reaching consumers in October or November, will have the same functionality.
“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,” Google spokeswoman Niki Christoff told Washington Post. “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.”
After the Edward Snowden’s revelations that US government bodies, especially National Security Agency, can easily get users data from technology companies like Apple and Google, these companies have become extremely sensitive to privacy concerns.
The companies have denied that they willingly cooperate with the US government and have said that they would put in place better mechanism through which users can guard their data.
Earlier, Apple informed users on its website that it would no longer have the ability to peek into their phones. “On devices running iOS 8, your personal data such as photos, messages (including attachments), email, contacts, call history, iTunes content, notes, and reminders is placed under the protection of your passcode,” the company explained. “Unlike our competitors, Apple cannot bypass your passcode and therefore cannot access this data. So it’s not technically feasible for us to respond to government warrants for the extraction of this data from devices in their possession running iOS 8.”