ACLU Worried About Android Security. Should You Be Too?


The Android platform is an appealing option for many of the developers of wearable technology. After all making apps for Android, and getting them published, is a lot easier to do then it is for a iPhone or a Windows phone. That having been said when it comes to the amount of personal information you put out caution is always wise. You may want to see photos of your live at five minute intervals, but that does not mean you need to share it all with everyone on the web. 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.

The security of these devices has been in question for some time, but it is not by any means a settled matter. A new complaint with the Federal Trade Commission by the ACLU 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 by passing on security patches done by Google to its end users.

“These 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system now has more than 75% of the smartphone market, yet the majority of these devices are running software that is out of date, often with known, exploitable security vulnerabilities that have not been patched.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 partners.”

So for now if you are using an Android app then you may want to make sure that you are using ones that have their own application layer security, if any of their data is being stored. That way you can track yourself in style and safety.

Image Source: Morgue File