iOS 9, Android M Place New Focus On Security, Privacy - InformationWeek

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6/24/2015
08:05 AM
Pablo Valerio
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iOS 9, Android M Place New Focus On Security, Privacy

Google and Apple have publicly challenged calls from law enforcement agencies to weaken encryption on consumer devices. In turn, iOS 9 and Android M will sport a string of new security and privacy features for users.

If they give backdoors to the FBI or GCHQ, can they continue to sell iPhones and Nexus devices in Germany and China?

During a recent event at the Electronic Privacy Information Center, Apple's CEO Tim Cook was adamant about encryption.

[Take a look at Google I/O.]

"We believe that people have a fundamental right to privacy. The American people demand it, the Constitution demands it, morality demands it," Cook said. "So let me be crystal clear -- weakening encryption, or taking it away, harms good people that are using it for the right reasons. And ultimately I believe it has a chilling effect on our First Amendment rights and undermines our country's founding principles."

(Image: Stephen Krow/iStockphoto)

(Image: Stephen Krow/iStockphoto)

Another Apple executive explained the company's policy about collecting data: "We don't mine your email, your photos, or your contacts in the cloud to learn things about you," said Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, at this year's Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco. "We honestly just don't want to know."

Google And Apple Still Capture Information

However, Google and Apple are not offering any restriction on their ability to collect information.

As the original writers of the code, they have the possibility to access all functions of the operating systems without limits, and they make full use of that. Apple is famous for turning on Bluetooth on iOS devices every time it sends a software upgrade in order to enable marketers to detect shoppers and send them instant offers.

I believe this is the price we have to pay to use a smartphone.

As Dan Geer, chief information security officer for In-Q-Tel, writes for the Christian Science Monitor Passcode security website: "If your personal 'expectation of privacy' is based on the impossibility of observability or even the impossibility of identifiability, then your logic [...] is temporary and weak," Geer wrote, adding, "There is no mechanistic difference whatsoever between personalization and targeting save for the intent of the analyst. To believe otherwise is to believe in the Tooth Fairy. To not care is to abandon your duty."

Pablo Valerio has been in the IT industry for 25+ years, mostly working for American companies in Europe. Over the years he has developed channels, established operations, and served as European general manager for several companies. While primarily based in Spain, he has ... View Full Bio
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vervesys
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vervesys,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/4/2015 | 3:38:21 AM
Agreed! Request permissions for downloading is such an annoying job
Agreed! Request permissions for downloading is such an annoying job. Ofcourse, security is major concern however, the new version of Andoird M will indeed help the user to set back to know that his data is secured. Also iOS 9 with "App Transport Security" will definitely make users feel secured.
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
7/3/2015 | 12:46:04 PM
Re: Security should be top priority
I agree with you 100% regarding security. It will have to come eventually because i am sure governments will get involved. At that point it will not be an paid option but free. In any case the mindset today is that everything should be free: apps, music, books, etc. I am from the old generation that believes that people should be paid for their efforts.

However i hate the in-app purchases. If you buy an app it should be fully functional.
asksqn
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asksqn,
User Rank: Ninja
6/29/2015 | 8:14:25 PM
Too Little Too Late
It's about time consumer privacy and security was taken seriously by the deep-pocketed Fortune 500 tech cos. but seriously, it's too little a lot too late.  I still don't trust a word either Apple or Google says.
Pablo Valerio
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Pablo Valerio,
User Rank: Ninja
6/25/2015 | 11:24:48 AM
Re: Security should be top priority
I still want a stronger commitment from Apple and Google to people's privacy. 

We ned to move from opt-out to opt-in and let users decide what to share.

The problem is that most users are not willing to pay for apps, and think those are free. Same as using Facebook or Twitter, if you don't pay, you are the product.

Nevertheless, the ability to turn on and off permissions at will should be part of the standard OS.
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
6/24/2015 | 9:03:35 AM
Security should be top priority
I think these changes are a good start. There really should be more of an ability to restrict access to personal parts of the phone such as contacts, calendars, pictures, etc that have nothing to do with the functionality of most apps. Eventually these will come. I use VPN's when on public wifi to add more security so even if they track wifi IP's, they won't get too much information.
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