Ubuntu Touch to Support Encryption of User Data

The Ubuntu Touch operating system is also going to provide support for encryption of user data, developers have revealed.

It wasn’t a secret that Ubuntu Touch will get encryption, but it’s also not listed as an upcoming feature. It’s buried in a wiki entry with plans for Ubuntu Touch, but it’s nice to see that it’s still being considered, even if it’s not going to arrive anytime soon.

Ubuntu Touch is a Linux distribution before being an operating system for mobile devices, which means that integrating encryption shouldn’t be a difficult thing to implement. The problem is encryption usually has an impact on the overall performance. Powerful PC can deal with each much easier, but a phone that has limited hardware won’t be too happy.

Ubuntu Touch is getting encryption

Encryption on phones is not something new. For example, Google was supposed to make it mandatory for Android 5.x, but that didn’t happen. It’s now present in Android 6 Marshmallow, but in a limited fashion, for the /Data folder and SDcard. The OS itself is not covered, and the reason is of course performance.

“We have high-level plans to support encryption of user data. It isn't clear at this time if that will be based on LUKS, eCryptfs, or ext4/f2fs encryption. We'll know more once we're a bit closer to implementing the, feature but there is currently no set timeline,” developer Tyler Hicks explained on the official mailing list.

Pat McGowan, the Director of Tools and Applications at Canonical, explained that they are tracking this feature in Launchpad, but as of now it’s been pushed after the launch of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS that will happen in April.

It’s also worth noting that Tyler said “encryption of user data,” which probably means that the encryptions will also cover some sensitive parts of the phone and not the OS itself.


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