Android’s open source structure and security to users

The open source feature of the Android operating system ensures user security.

The app store market is dominated by Apple and Google, which also control the major mobile operating systems (iOS and Android). 

Both the app store market and the mobile operating system market contain high barriers to entry and exhibit strong network effects, potentially giving Apple and Google significant power to shape the app industry.

In the case of Android, its public availability for research and modification allows for greater transparency and scrutiny, ensuring that any vulnerabilities are quickly discovered and resolved. 

It also, according to Access Partnership, promotes collaboration and innovation, with a robust ecosystem of stakeholders (including security researchers, manufacturers and software developers) working together to keep the operating system secure and continually evolving to stay ahead of any potential security threats. 

Open source

An example of this is the ability to quickly resolve any vulnerabilities discovered in the operating system through a security update. 

When open source is allowed, any person or entity can access the Android source code, study it, make changes and create customized versions of the operating system.

The most important security features of the Android operating system include: 

Data encryption

The process of encrypting user data on an Android device prevents unauthorized persons from being able to read the data on a device, even if they gain access to it. 

App sandboxing 

The Android platform makes use of user-based Linux protection to identify and isolate application resources, protecting applications and the operating system in general from malicious applications. This makes it more difficult for malware to spread, as individual vulnerabilities are less likely to compromise the operating system or other applications on the device. 

Application permissions 

They help maintain user privacy by protecting access to sensitive data (such as user contact information) and restricted actions (such as audio recording). This allows users to choose which applications have access to these permissions and make settings on a per-application or per-permission type basis on a per-device basis. 

Software updates 

Provide new features and security updates to devices to keep them up to date, and include security patches that can protect users from discovered vulnerabilities. 


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