The Android platform is often praised for its openness. After all any
developer with the know how can make an publish apps for the platform.
Android is growing in popularity as many companies flock to it as a way
to complete with the iPhone. While security issues have in no way taken a
back seat there are a lot of issues with all of that openness and what
it might mean for end users data.
Those security concerns were stepped up a notch this week when the
ACLU filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission about the
practices of wireless carriers when it comes to Android device security.
In the complaint the company alleges that the carriers are not doing their duty.
companies—AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile—have sold millions of
smartphones to consumers running versions of Google’s Android operating
system. Unfortunately, the vast majority of these phones never receive
critical software security updates, exposing consumers and their private
data to significant cybersecurity-related risks," an ACLU rep said, "...Google’s
Android operating system now has more than 75% of the smartphone
market, yet the majority of these devices are running software that is
out of date, often with known, exploitable security vulnerabilities that
have not been patched. For consumers running these devices, there is no
legitimate software upgrade path. The problem isn’t that consumers
aren’t installing updates, but rather, that updates simply aren’t
available. Although Google’s engineers regularly fix software flaws in
the Android operating system, these fixes aren’t packaged up and pushed
to consumers by the wireless carriers and their handset manufacturer
With the growing amount of seucurity concverns about
the platforms inventors who are using it to sell apps may wish to build
in their own application layer security, if any individual data is used.
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