ACLU Speaker Decries ‘Digital Security Divide’ Between Apple, Android

Samsung Announces Second Biometric SmartphoneThere is a “digital security divide” between Apple iPhone users and Google Android users, argues the American Civil Liberties Union’s Chris Soghioan. And that’s tantamount to a divide between the rich and poor.

Soghioan made his arguments at this week’s EmTech conference, organized by MIT Technology Review. He noted that Apple incorporates end-to-end encryption in its products and services, from the iPhone to FaceTime, while Google’s Android platform does not, and in fact despite Google’s having “the best security team of any company in Silicon Valley,” its security developers “are embarrassed by Android.”

To some extent Android’s security failings can be attributed to Google’s business model, which seeks to produce inexpensive products by instead relying on revenues related to user data mining. That effectively means economically stratified user security in the world of mobile devices, since Apple’s secure, luxury devices like the iPhone are much more expensive than cheap Android smartphones.

This state of affairs could be changing, though. Apple CEO Tim Cook has been increasingly vocal about his company’s putative commitment to user privacy and security, with Apple going so far as to remove hundreds of apps from its app store when it was recently discovered that they were inappropriately collecting user data; and this may reflect a growing perception that consumers are placing more value on their privacy and security. With perhaps the same mentality, Google has been taking steps to improve Android security by mandating better standards in the developer requirements for Android Marshmallow, its latest operating system. The company still has a long way to go to catch up with Apple, but as more sensitive data is accessed through consumer smartphones, Google will have a compelling incentive to overcome the very legitimate criticisms levelled against its approach to security.

Source: Apple Insider