MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Sept. 19 (UPI) -- Google just made it a lot harder for law enforcement to get their hands on the information users keep in their smartphone.
On Thursday, the company announced the next generation of their Android operating system will encrypt data by default. Adding another layer between what their customers keep in their smartphone and police.
It has offered encryption on some devices for years, but experts say few users knew how to use it. Now Google is designing a feature that does it automatically -- only someone who has the password can see what's on the phone.
This move will allow Android -- the world's most popular operating system -- to offer the same protection for its customers that Apple does for its iPhone users.
It means that even when law enforcement has a search warrant for information on a device it will be impossible for them to get it.
According to Google this has been a long time coming. It is also part of a shift by U.S. technology companies to make their products less prone to snooping by the government in the aftermath of revelations of spying by the National Security Agency.