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Apple and Google face more encryption criticisms

It seems as Google and Apple can't satisfy everyone, no matter how hard they try.

Often criticized for not protecting user's data vigilantly enough, both companies recently announced that data on their new operating systems (iOS 8 and Android 5.0 Lollipop) will be encrypted by default.

That means that Google and Apple won’t be able to unlock the device, even if law enforcement requests such actions.

On Thursday, the US Department of Justice (DoJ) has criticised this move, with a senior official telling Apple that, without access to a suspect’s phone, a child could die in cases such as kidnapping.

“New encryption technology that renders locked smartphones impervious to law enforcement would lead to tragedy,” he said.

A child would die, he said, because police wouldn't be able to scour a suspect's phone, according to people who attended the meeting.

Android central reports that Apple called the kidnapped child scenario inflammatory, and that law enforcement agencies should turn to wireless carriers for data gathering.

“Law-enforcement officials see it as a move in the wrong direction. The new encryption will make it much harder for the police, even with a court order, to look into a phone for messages, photos, appointments or contact lists, they say.

“Even Apple itself, if served with a court order, won't have the key to decipher information encrypted on its iPhones.”

After Edward Snowden, an ex NSA officer, exposed the US Government’s spying activities, IT companies have started fighting to protect their user’s data from government surveillance.

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a freelance journalist with more than 15 years of experience in writing various types of content, from blogs, whitepapers, and reviews to ebooks, and many more, across sites including Al Jazeera Balkans, TechRadar Pro, IT Pro Portal, and CryptoNews.