Google can remotely unlock most Android devices by court order

For those that have an older Android device, or have a device that has yet to be updated to the latest version of Android, Google has the power to unlock your device remotely. While this won't happen out of the blue or by random request, it is a bit unsettling.

According to documents obtained by The Next Web, Google can remotely unlock phones if served with a search warrant and a request to assist law enforcement. Although this doesn't apply to all Android devices, it still encompasses a large portion - affecting all devices running anything lower than Android 5.0 ( roughly 74%). Those with an Android 5.0 and above device will not be affected, as the device offers encryption and Google is not capable of remotely unlocking your device.

Currently, the only factory encrypted devices are offered directly through Google via its Nexus program. Android 5 and 6 both offer the ability for encryption, but manufacturers have not enabled the feature by default due to performance and other issues.

Source: NY District Attorney's Office via The Next Web

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