Wednesday, April 17, 2013

ACLU files complaint with FTC over older Android software

ACLU files complaint with FTC over older Android software

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal complaint Tuesday accusing the nation’s largest wireless carriers of “deceptive” business practices for failing to keep the software on tens of millions of Android smartphones updated — a shortcoming that can make the devices vulnerable to hackers.

The ACLU has a point.  As a person who has been an Android user the last 2+ years, I believe I've seen *maybe* 3 (more than likely 2) OS updates on my Thunderbolt (and NONE for my SGN2, so far).  One was to disable free hotspots.  I find it hard to believe that there were little to no Android updates in that time span (especially security-related updates).  Verizon is my carrier and I hold them responsible.  Yes, they pushed out ICS to my thunderbolt right before it went out-of-contract, but that push actually made the phone run worse, and I was forced into the update (I wasn't asked)...being forced into an untested update broke my phone.

The carriers need to do a better job of handling updates.  They also need to ensure they're periodically pushing security updates, because Android's security posture is horrendous.  Google sells its own devices and pushes updates to them without issue, but the carriers never act in a timely fashion when Google pushes those updates to's like they vanish into a black hole.  :/

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