Seriously, Amazon? Fire tablets drop encryption, are less secure
Amazon is not looking smart when it comes to security.
I'm Bridget Carey, this is your CNET update.
In a time where consumers are counting on tech companies to keep their data secured and encrypted Amazon is choosing to leave its Fire tablets vulnerable, and it's stopped protecting the data stored on the devices.
Security researchers say this is a backward move by Amazon, and it's mind boggling, to say the least, on why software would change to be less protected.
But, if you own an Amazon Fire tablet or the Amazon Fire phone Be aware, your personal data is at risk if someone takes your device or if it gets in the wrong hands.
It's an attractive target for thieves.
Now to understand what's happening we have to go back to this past fall when Amazon released new Fire tablets with an operating system called FireOS5.
It's based on Android, but with Amazon's own twist to it.
Turns out, that operating system is lacking something called device Encryption, but it's only getting big attention now because Fire OS 5 updates just started rolling out to older Amazon tablets with an alert about the encryption change.
One security researcher, David Scovetta, posted on Twitter.
This message about losing encryption.
It popped up when a spider tablet wanted to upgrade.
Amazon released a statement admitting this change.
Amazon said device encryption was a feature that customers were not using.
And that data in Amazon.
Cloud is still protected.
So that means data you send somewhere, data in transit, that's still safe.
But if have this new operating system, you may want to avoid saving sensitive photos or documents to the hard drive.
Older tablets can choose not to upgrade to Fire OS5 but not upgrading means you can be missing out on another important bug patch, so you're stuck in a bad position.
Security researchers say this goes against basic security fundamentals.
One theory is that Amazon may have done this to help its devices run faster.
But Amazon has not yet responded to questions about the reasoning behind In the move.
Of course it's incredible that this comes right as everyone is focused on a battle between Apple and the Department of Justice over the encryption of an iPhone.
The same day this Amazon news blew up is the same day Amazon teamed up with.
14 other major tech companies and filed an amicus brief supporting Apple in it's fight against a court order which demanded Apple create software to break the security of the iPhone 5C belonging to the San Bernardino shooter.
Now many other tech companies and industry groups also supported Apple by submitting Separate statements.
Apple heads back to core with the FBI on March 22nd.
That's it for this tech news update, and you could head to cnet.com for more.
From our studios in New York, I'm Bridget Carey.
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