Android has offered encryption since 2011.
Unfortunately, most Android users don’t care (or don’t know) about encryption. These users never turn encryption on, which means it’s relatively easy for someone to steal your data if they have access to your phone.
Apple’s iOS8 – which is available on iPhones 4S through to the current generation – will also enable encryption by default.
Android L’s automatic encryption will prevent anyone from accessing your data unless they have a PIN. Even if someone stole your phone and hooked it up to a computer, they would be unable to access encrypted data.
Law enforcement officials are worried
According to the Washington Post, these changes have worried government officials. Basically overnight, both Android and iOS – which collectively represent over 95% of the mobile market – are automatically encrypting all data on their phones.
To make matters worse, there is “no form of legal compulsion” that will “suffice to force the unlocking of most smartphones.”
In other words, even with a warrant, the police cannot make you unlock your phone.
Privacy advocates are very excited about the changes, but law enforcement officials say it will reduce their ability to prevent and solve crimes.
But the real question is: will Apple and Google install backdoors that let US law enforcement officials bypass this encryption?
Expect Android L to be released sometime in October 2014.