talks with Steve Kondik and Koushik Dutta about Android security

Learn about the new privacy tools in CyanogenMod from two of the founding members

Looking for a great way to spend 20 minutes? join's Russell Holly as he has a great chat with CyanogenMod founder Steve Kondik and Koushik Dutta of CM and ClockWorkMod fame about Android security. 

It's plain talk, and focuses mostly on Privacy Guard and PushSMS  -- two new services that help you control the bits and bytes that flow from your phone. Explained are things like how ease-of-use and fairness to developers are important, and you'll leave a lot wiser on how these tools can help you decide how your data is handled and who can see it.

Of course things get a little geeky, but what would 20 minutes with these two fellows be without a little bit of nerdery, right? this one's definitely worth a watch. You can watch the video above, but be sure to direct questions and comments to Russell at's Google+ page.


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Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.

1 Comment
  • This Secure SMS thing will still be worthless. CM does not have a user base on par with iOS 5+. Not even close. A. Android users without CM will need a 3rd party application.
    B. iOS Users will need a 3rd party application.
    C. will need a third party application. iMessage is popular because: 1. Transparent to the user (built into-Messages App)
    2. Data-Based (Can work when a Cell Signal is absent, but WiFi is)
    3. Sent/Delivered/Read
    4. Typing Notifications
    5. Supports sending all the same types of data as MMS on the iPhone
    6. Portable across Form-Factors (iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad, MacBook, iMac, etc.)
    7. It's Encrypted, but I bet 99% of iOS users do not even think about this when considering this feature. I think Samsung with it's ChatOn service had a chance to introduce something similar to iMessage for Android, but instead of integrating it into their Messaging app (Samsung Phones have SSO for Samsung Accounts), they developed one of the most bloated and ugly messaging apps on the platform. Gratz Samsung. They own the back-end for that service and dominate the Android device market. They could have easily done this, and it would have forced adoption of that service for their users, increasing the stickiness of their Galaxy brand... --- As for security and permissions. What they spoke about in the Hangout is already done on iOS when an App requests to use Location Data, etc. The OS will tell you and you'll need to accept the prompt before it does it. Also, Windows Phone has done this since release, and so does Windows 8 for Metro Apps. The first time the App tries to use something (i.e. your Web Cam, Location, etc.) it will throw up a prompt and you get a chance to deny that permission. I'm not sure why Google did not implement this, because there are a metric ton of Android apps that give you a "let us have this or you can't install" ultimatum and it's not necessarily fair to the user. The issue is very prolific. --- But really, the Secure Messaging on Android needs to be done either by Google (Hangouts Protocol + Google Account SSO) or a dominant OEM like Samsung (ChatOn + Samsung Account SSO) so that it can be integrated into the stock messaging app of Android (or a dominant/prolific OEM brand like the Galaxy Series). The Hangouts app should have just been for Video Chat (and Audio VoIP calls), like FaceTime on iOS devices. At the moment I'm getting a bit impatient with Google/Samsung getting this together on Android, especially with the way Android devices are supported. You cannot be assured that you'll get the update that has it without hacking your phone or buying a new one. It's not like Windows Phone or iOS. For the moment I'll continue using Skype, and hope BBM is decent when it finally comes to Android/iOS. Overall great interview, though I wish the guy on the right would roll his eyes into the back of his head less and look into the camera more :-P