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This article was published on March 3, 2016

Amazon takes a major step backward by dropping encryption for Fire OS 5

Amazon takes a major step backward by dropping encryption for Fire OS 5
Bryan Clark
Story by

Bryan Clark

Former Managing Editor, TNW

Bryan is a freelance journalist. Bryan is a freelance journalist.

While Apple and the FBI await a ruling from congress on their encryption battles, Amazon just willfully dropped encryption on Kindle, Fire Phones, Fire Tablets and Fire TV devices running Fire OS 5.

The change affects millions of users with these devices and makes each of them decidedly less safe from bad actors. Encryption on these devices ties data access to a password that (presumably) only the owner knows. Now this data, which includes purchase history and credit card numbers, is decidedly less safe while it resides in the memory of your device.

Amazon’s move to drop encryption from these devices has led to a wave of customer complains on social media and its own support forums.

Perhaps even more curious, Amazon recently filed an amicus brief to join in the Apple case as a sign of support before dropping encryption on its own products.

Amazon responded to the story out of hours.

“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.”

Amazon just removed encryption from the software powering Kindles, phones, and tablets [DailyDot]

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