Quickly following the lead of Apple, Inc., Google has announced that it too will encrypt its users’ data by default, in its next mobile operating system, Android L.
Users of these operating systems have long been able to use encryption, but relatively few were aware of this option, and hence Apple and Google could mine their personal information upon government request or for other reasons. That will no longer be possible unless users turn the encryption off.
As with Apple’s new system, Google will be unable to hand individuals’ private information over to law enforcement authorities. As I noted yesterday, Apple’s decision, and now Google’s, demonstrates once again the superiority of free markets in providing valued services and consumer satisfaction, in contrast with the coercive and typically crony-corrupted actions of government.
Google’s decision leaves only Microsoft as producer of a major phone and tablet operating system from which the company can extract user information to hand over to government authorities.