ACLU Complaint Claims "Slow" Android Updates are Endangering People
April 22, 2013 2:01 PM
comment(s) - last by
ACLU blames carriers is demanding a full investigation of the issue
The American Civil Liberties Union
(ACLU) took the unusual step of injecting itself into the smartphone discussion, asking the
U.S. Federal Trade Commission
(FTC) to investigate America's top carriers over claims of Android abuse.
According to the ACLU, Google Inc. (
) regularly puts out patches and upgrades to its Android operating system -- the world's most used smartphone operating system. But in its 17-page report, it accuses America's top wireless carriers of recklessly endangering consumers by not rolling out updates fast enough.
The report calls out both of America's top two carriers, AT&T, Inc. (
) and Verizon Wireless -- jointly owned by Verizon Communications Inc. (
) and Vodafone Group Plc. (
). But it also accuses Sprint Nextel Corp. (
) and Deutsche Telekom AG's (
) T-Mobile USA of contributing to the problem, as well.
The ACLU wants the FTC to force carriers either to offer customers refunds or to force them to provide warnings that they are inadequately protecting customers. The advocacy admits that it is unusual for it to look to protect consumers (which is typically the job of other more specialized advocacies), but it said in this case that the security risks from the carrier negligence could be used to justify Orwellian new federal laws --
like the controversial CISPA bill
that recently passed the House.
ACLU lawyer Chris Soghoian, who authored and submitted the complaint last Tuesday, comments, "This is part of our attempt to reframe the cybersecurity agenda,. Before violating anyone's privacy, the government should first be addressing the low-hanging fruit that everyone can agree on."
The ACLU is targeting America's top carriers for sluggish Android updates.
[Image Source: Android and Me]
While the report may echo the frustrations of many Android users, it was met with scorn and derision by figures in the telecom industry. Verizon responded that it releases patches and updates "as quickly as possible", but that it must commit "rigorous testing" before any release. Carriers argue that the nature of Android -- which allows both OEMs and carriers to modify or disable certain functionality (e.g. tethering) --
makes testing a slower and more arduous process
They argue that rushed updates could "break" smartphones causing them to gobble data unnecessarily, be unable to run apps, or be unable to make calls. Indeed this
has happened on occasion
in the past.
But not everyone is buying that excuse.
Carnegie Mellon Univ.
Professor Travis Breaux
, "There are standard practices for testing and evaluating patches. Microsoft does this all the time."
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
4/23/2013 5:16:51 AM
Mate. You're arguing with an Apple fanatic.
They throw all logic out the window when it comes to that Logo, they have no idea of the alternatives that exist and nor do they really care, they will keep buying Apple and praising Apple.
4/23/2013 5:16:55 PM
Did you say that Windows 8 has the best Windows UI ever?
"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser
After $84M USD Payout, House Passes "Big Brother Writ" CISPA
April 19, 2013, 10:02 AM
AT&T Points Finger at Google for Delayed Android Updates, Prepares to Test Small Cells
May 10, 2012, 7:52 AM
Microsoft Pulls Windows Phone 7 Update After it Starts Bricking Phones
February 23, 2011, 8:28 AM
Apple and Samsung See Virtual Tie in Q3 U.S. Sales, Nokia Seizes Fourth
December 5, 2013, 8:00 PM
AT&T Goes After T-Mobile with Reduced Off-Contract Prices, New Base Rates
December 5, 2013, 11:28 AM
MSI Unveils 3K Resolution GT60 Gaming, Workstation Notebooks
December 5, 2013, 11:00 AM
No iPhone for Obama Due to Security Concerns
December 5, 2013, 9:57 AM
New Reversible "Type-C" USB Plug Coming in Mid-2014
December 4, 2013, 10:38 AM
IDC Reports PC Shipments Will Decline by Double Digits in 2013
December 4, 2013, 10:18 AM
Most Popular Articles
NSA Snares Americans' Porn Viewing Histories in Effort to Target Muslims
December 1, 2013, 9:00 PM
Coalition of 20+ Tech Firms Backs MRAM as Potential DRAM, NAND Replacement
November 29, 2013, 11:59 PM
Dow Chemical to NYC City Council: You Don't Even Know What Styrofoam is!
December 2, 2013, 8:30 PM
Fed Up With Cheating OEMs, Microsoft Trolls Chromebooks in New Ad
November 27, 2013, 4:09 PM
OCZ Goes Bankrupt, SSD Assets are Targeted by Toshiba
December 1, 2013, 9:58 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Global Cyber Espionage Concerns Reveal Growing Cyber Armies
Nov 29, 2013, 11:04 AM
Is The Period Becoming an Expression of Anger?
Nov 26, 2013, 2:02 PM
NSA and Congress -- You Will Never Kill the Constitution, It's an Idea
Nov 10, 2013, 2:00 PM
AT&T Explores $100B+ USD Deal to Acquire Vodafone's European Operations
Nov 4, 2013, 7:34 AM
U.S. Army Developing Cyber, Electronic War Arsenal
Oct 31, 2013, 4:49 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2013 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information