As Apple’s battle over encryption heats up, we are starting to see more and more companies’ true stance on protecting user’s privacy. Most companies have sided with Apple, even their enemy Samsung, but Amazon seems to be on the other side of the debate.
Many owners of Amazon Fire tablets are reporting that Fire OS 5 update removes encryption. Yes, you read that right, removes it. This means the new update will not only take away the ability to encrypt your device, but will also break previously encrypted ones.
What is interesting about this decision is Amazon has actually filed an amicus brief backing Apple already. They have also always said their Amazon Echo products, which are always listening, have strong encryption. It is very strange that Amazon would say one thing, but essentially do the other. However, Amazon has issued a statement on the matter.
In the fall when we released Fire OS 5, we removed some enterprise features that we found customers weren’t using. All Fire tablets’ communication with Amazon’s cloud meet our high standards for privacy and security including appropriate use of encryption.
Users of Amazon Fire products will basically have to choose between having their device encrypted, or receiving the latest Android updates. Unfortunately, not really the best choices.