Not even a day has passed since Amazon announced that it will drop device encryption support for their Fire OS devices and the company has already done a 180 by saying that they will restore the feature.
Apparently, one of Amazon’s representatives confirmed this change to TechCrunch, stating that they will reintroduce the full disk encryption, along with a Fire OS update this spring.
Previously the American e-commerce and cloud computing company had explained their decision to withdraw the encryption by saying that this feature was rarely used by its customers.
This move was later branded by critics as unfounded and irresponsible, seeing how many customers are not even aware of the feature, much less of its importance to their devices and personal information.
Natasha Lomas from TechCrunch explains the fact that removing the device encryption would imply that law enforcement agencies, as well as other authorities, could gain access to a person’s private information directly from their device.
This is precisely the type of situation that Apple is struggling to prevent at this moment, in the aftermath of the San Bernardino shooting. Apple officials have publicly denounced the FBI’s orders to open one of the shooter’s iPhones, suggesting it would set a dangerous precedent, threatening the safety and privacy of millions of people.
During the last few days, Apple’s struggle has garnered enormous attention and support from a wide number of tech companies, organizations and public figures. Ironically, Amazon was also one of the companies who has expressed their support for Apple’s fight, by signing a legal brief posted by Microsoft on March 3rd.
The United Nations has also been a vocal supporter of the tech company, saying that the FBI’s request could put many lives at risk.
Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein, who is the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, issued a public statement recently, stating that privacy is one of the most important prerequisites of security and that the world needs to have clear red lines in order to protect personal information in the digital age.
Therefore, if we consider everything that’s been going on in the public eye recently, it is safe to say that Amazon’s earlier decision to drop their device encryption support was a bit uninspired, to say the least, and the fact that they’ve reconsidered their strategy so soon proves what a bad judgment call it actually was.
Image Source: PCmag