A few days ago you read on TechBakBak.com that Amazon has removed encryption from its Fire OS 5 devices like tablets and mobile phones. It completely went contrary to the ongoing sentiment in the wake of Apple taking on the might of the FBI by refusing to help the Federal Bureau hack into the iPhone of the San Bernardino terrorist. Amazon had decided to remove encryption from its Fire OS 5 devices despite being one of the tech companies backing Apple against the FBI.
Privacy advocates were naturally furious. As you must already know that encryption on smartphones and tablets scrambles the date on your device so that it cannot be understood unless someone enters the correct password. In case your device is stolen or lost, nobody can access your confidential data. It is a great safety net. Many technologists believe that it is one of the stupidest moves by Amazon.
— David Scovetta (@davidscovetta) March 3, 2016
Due to extensive protests and negative media coverage, Amazon has just made a U-turn (in India you would call it pulling a Kejriwal) and restored the encryption feature on its Fire tablets. In case you upgraded your Fire OS 5 to a version that deactivates encryption, you will need to wait until this spring when a new version of the operating system will restore the encryption feature.
Why did Amazon remove encryption in the first place? According to the official statement, the company removed encryption support from the Android-based Fire OS because it was an enterprise feature in most of the normal users were not using it.
The company must have discovered now that it doesn’t matter if a critical feature is being used or not, what matters is, how people think about having that feature or not having it on their devices.