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  • ACLU’s Principal Technologist Blasts Android Security


    The ACLU’s principal technologist, Chris Soghioan, is drawing attention today to the vast security vulnerabilities that separate iOS from Android.

    And the chatter is getting ample attention from a new report by MIT Technology Review.

    Apple devices, Soghioan suggests, are superior at protecting people’s data "against criminals and surveillance."

    At MIT Technology Review’s EmTech conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on Tuesday, he warned that the combination of those differences has created a looming civil rights problem.
    “We now find ourselves in not just a digital divide but a digital security divide,” he said. “The phone used by the rich is encrypted by default and cannot be surveilled, and the phone used by most people in the global south and the poor and disadvantaged in America can be surveilled.”

    While it sounds like an overly simplistic jab at Google, the point is made in today's report that smartphone owners truly get what they pay for. "A new iPhone without a cellular contract costs at least $650, while a new smartphone powered by Google’s Android software can be as little as $50," the report opens. And based on the comments made by Soghioan, that difference in price also means a difference in security.

    To read the very interesting report in full, click here.

    Source: MIT Technology Review
    This article was originally published in forum thread: ACLU’s Principal Technologist Blasts Android Security started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 4 Comments
    1. i113's Avatar
      i113 -
      So applying that same logical formula to other areas of life, one can surmise that a person that pays 13 times more for a home can enjoy more security and less chance of outside surveillance? That's astounding!
    1. steve-z17's Avatar
      steve-z17 -
      Quote Originally Posted by i113 View Post
      So applying that same logical formula to other areas of life, one can surmise that a person that pays 13 times more for a home can enjoy more security and less chance of outside surveillance? That's astounding!
      Lol, why would to apply this thinking to other areas of life? The article is talking about phones...period.

      I agree with the guy, Android isn't as secure. In stock OS you can choose to install apps from third party devs that can easily contain something harmful. With iOS you first have to JB then install which technically is a bit more secure considering most ppl don't jailbreak. Of course there are ways for things to slip through on both Android and iOS but overall Android is not as secure.
    1. RyoSaeba's Avatar
      RyoSaeba -
      With great power comes great responsibility. Unfortunately, this responsibility falls on multiple companies. The openness of Android is the problem. Any company that makes changes to the base OS and/or adds their own system apps opens new vulnerabilities for attackers.

      Same with non-Nexus phones. OS updates are at the mercy of the company that made the phone. Then you have subsidized phones which is often the slowest to bring updates. If you can officially update any subsidized Android phone after 2 years, you are very lucky.
    1. Robmille's Avatar
      Robmille -
      Quote Originally Posted by i113 View Post
      So applying that same logical formula to other areas of life, one can surmise that a person that pays 13 times more for a home can enjoy more security and less chance of outside surveillance? That's astounding!
      False extrapolation. No one said a $650 phone is 13 times more secure. They said the $50 phone is not secure and the $650 is secure. Privacy/Security is the issue, and when looking at new phones (since they aren't in the business of reviewing technology buy societal rights & protections) a $50 phone should be able to be encrypted as a default. A person should not have to give away their constitutional/human rights when they can't afford a top of the line phone is the point.