Just one day after it was discovered that Amazon had stripped the option to use encryption on devices powered by their FireOS 5 operating system, Amazon has announced that the feature will be returning in a software update “coming this spring.” Originally Amazon had reported that they had removed the feature due to lack of usage, however, the issue became big news with the current debates raging on over the subject.
Fire OS 5 has lacked encryption since its release in the autumn of 2015, however due to how quietly it was removed, the change was only noticed when the rollout of the OS to older devices took place. This removed the option of encryption even on devices that had originally shipped with the feature from an older version of Fire OS. As expected, this news did not go down well with many consumers, especially the most security conscious users, many seeing it as them giving up the fight for encryption and privacy before it had even begun for them.
Amazon re-adding encryption to Fire OS 5 is hardly surprising. The backlash against disabling the feature on any device using the OS could cost them both in reputation and profits. Also, as the feature was removed before the FBI/Apple encryption battle began, there was far less attention to its presence, which has now become an issue considered in the tech community worldwide.
For many, the lack of encryption would have been a deal-breaker in the purchase of their products. Are you glad to see Amazon reversing their course on the topic, or would you have bought an Amazon tablet regardless?