Last week, news surfaced that Amazon had quietly turned off an option for device-level encryption in Fire OS 5, the latest release of its Fire tablet software.
The company said it deactivated the feature because users simply weren’t using it. Now, following widespread reaction that suggested Amazon was siding with the FBI in the Apple vs. FBI battle over device encryption, Amazon says it’s turning the option back on.
“We will return the option for full disk encryption with a Fire OS update coming this spring,” Amazon said recently, according to USA Today.
The company also recently officially sided with Apple in support of consumer privacy. The FBI, however, believes that devices should provide some sort of “back door” so that they can catch criminals who might otherwise be using encrypted devices to keep their messages out of the government’s view.
Amazon had originally only offered the feature as an option that most consumers (myself included) probably never saw. It should consider activating the option by default, but it has also been suggested that Amazon leaves it off to improve performance on its more affordable and less powerful products.