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Android emulates Apple on user access to phones

IANS/EFE     September 20, 2014

Google has announced that a new version of its operating system for mobile phones and Android tablets will prevent company access to devices without owner consent, similar to the measure taken by Apple for its new iOS system in iPhone and iPad.

The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal on Thursday reported that the new Android would carry an encryption system to prevent the company, as well as potential thieves or the authorities, from unlocking mobile devices if they did not have the correct password.

The improvement in security prevents the company and the government from accessing information stored in user devices operating with Android, such as photographs, e-mails, contacts, call records, messages, written notes and multimedia content.

The measure taken by Google, similar to the one Apple announced Thursday, is part of an effort by the technology companies to respond to those accusing them of having collaborated too easily with the US government and the National Security Agency when they were asked for user data.

So far, phones and devices operating with Android offered this encryption feature only as an option so there were very few users who knew how to activate it.

In the new operating systems, to be marketed in October, the measure will become enabled by default.

With a share of more than 75 per cent of the global smartphone market, Android is the most widely used operating system worldwide.

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