Google's Sundar Pichai Claims Android May Not Be As Safe? What Went Wrong During MWC?

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By Precious Silva | March 3, 2014 11:09 PM EST

Google's Sundar Pichai has been underscrutiny for short period after reports interpreted his claims in a very different light. The well-known Google figure reportedly claimed that Android was not as secure as other operating systems as it is an open platform.


Sundar Pichai, Senior vice president of Android, Chrome and Google Apps (Courtesy: Pocket Lint)

In another update, Pichai said Android's "open" nature goes well with the security of the OS. What really happened? 

Mashable provided a transcript of what went on during the Mobile World Congress. A reporter asked Pichai regarding the security of the Android OS in relation to its open nature. The transcript goes: 

"Sorry, the premise of the question is because Android is open, it has more security issues? Respectfully, I'm not sure that's a correct premise of the question. Open platforms historically undergo a lot of scrutiny, but there are a lot of advantages to having an open source platform from a security standpoint. I would argue that it's the best way for a platform to be secure, because every researcher in the world can inspect it, every developer in the world can inspect it, and I think that contributes a lot to Android security." 

Network World also reported getting the whole story from a Google representative. According to the report, Pichai discussed the following: 

"Open platforms historically undergo a lot of scrutiny, but there are a lot of advantages to having an open source platform from a security standpoint. I would argue that it's the best way for a platform to be secure, because every researcher in the world can inspect it, every developer in the world can inspect it, and I think that contributes a lot to Android security." 

"Android was built to be very, very secure. The thing that you're seeing is because Android is an open platform, many people can ship Android in many different ways and so there are some partners when they ship devices, they have an older version of Android. And sure you can have a security vulnerability there, but that doesn't mean Android isn't secure. We go to great lengths--the depth of work in Android to make it secure; the depth of work done by Google Play...Google Play automatically scans and verifies thousands of applications for malware. We track data on this. It's state of the art in terms of what we do. What you see across the ecosystem...people will ship good phones and keep them updated...you will have some phones that will not be updated. That's where we see issues. Not Android at a fundamental level." 

The controversy arose then the Android Chief explained during the MWC that Android is more open compared to being more secure. Also, reports supposedly quoted him saying if he were to be a hacker, he would concentrate on Android because of its market position. The following transcripts should clear up what Pichai explained.

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Sundar Pichai, Senior vice president of Android, Chrome and Google Apps (Courtesy: Pocket Lint)
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