Amazon Disabled Device Encryption In Fire OS 5

While Apple and, to a lesser extent, Google are working to improve the security on their devices Amazon has decided on a different strategy:

While Apple continues to resist a court order requiring it to help the FBI access a terrorist’s phone, another major tech company just took a strange and unexpected step away from encryption.

Amazon has removed device encryption from the operating system that powers its Kindle e-reader, Fire Phone, Fire Tablet, and Fire TV devices.

The change, which took effect in Fire OS 5, affects millions of users.

Traditionally firmware updates deliver (or at least attempt to) security enhancements. I’m not sure why Amazon chose to move away from that tradition but it should cause users of Fire OS devices concern. By delivering a firmware update that removes a major security feature Amazon has violated the trust of its users.

Unless Amazon fixes this I would recommend avoiding Fire OS based devices. Fortunately other phone and table manufacturers exist and are willing to provide you devices that offer good security features.