Economy, Sci & Tech

Android’s Trust Problem Not Improving

Android is perceived as untrustworthy in large part because it is.Android is perceived as untrustworthy in large part because it is.

A two-year study of Android security updates by Security Research Labs has revealed a distressing gap between the software patches Android companies claim to have on their devices and the ones they actually have. Your phone’s manufacturer may be lying to you about the security of your Android device. In fact, it appears that almost all of them do.

Coming at the end of a week dominated by Mark Zuckerberg’s congressional hearings and an ongoing Facebook privacy probe, this news might seem of lesser importance, but it goes to the same issue that has drawn lawmakers’ scrutiny to Facebook: the matter of trust. Facebook is the least-trusted big US tech company, and Android might just be the operating system equivalent of it: used by 2 billion people around the world, tolerated more than loved, and susceptible to major lapses in user privacy and security, the Verge reported.

The gap between Android and its nemesis, Apple’s iOS, has always boiled down to trust. Unlike Google, Apple doesn’t make its money by tracking the behavior of its users, and unlike the vast and varied Android ecosystems, there are only ever a couple of iPhone models, each of which is updated with regularity and over a long period of time. Owning an iPhone, you can be confident that you are among Apple’s priority users, whereas with an Android device, as evidenced, you cannot even be sure that the security bulletins and updates you are getting are truthful.

Android is perceived as untrustworthy in large part because it is. Beside the matter of security misrepresentations, here are some of the other major issues and villains plaguing the platform: Version updates are slow, if they arrive at all and Android hardware development is chaotic and unreliable.


Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints