Lost and found in translation. Two different translations of words attributed to Google Android chief Sundar Pichai have caused quite a stir. In a world bereft of corporate honesty, Pichai actually seemed to admit that Android security is quite poor.

We do not guarantee that Android is designed to be safe; its format was designed to give more freedom. When they talk about 90 percent of malicious programs for Android, they must of course take into account the fact that it is the most used operating system in the world. If I had a company dedicated to malware, I would also send my attacks to Android — Sundar Pichai via French site Fandroid, translation by Bing.

The idea that Android security is at best poor isn’t controversial unless, of course, the person stating the obvious is Google Android chief Sundar Pichai.

Not to be undone by that egregious pique of honesty, Google provided their own translation of Pichai’s comments to TechCrunch. Sadly, the company’s version is just a repetition of Android security boiler plate:

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 — via TechCrunch

Is that even the same paragraph? No, it’s not. Fundamentally, Google isn’t even trying to be subtle as their version of “Pichai said” is not directly comparable to Fandroid’s “Pichai said.”

Further, Google doesn’t offer a full transcript. Rather than attempting to set the record straight, Google is rewriting what was said.

It’s not even an attempt at spin.

It’s important to note that Fandroid, quite obviously, is an Android fan site. So, they’re not out to sully the reputation of Android.

Android Security: Think for Yourselves!

Again, at least to me, it isn’t surprising that Pichai would say, either directly or in so many words, that Android is less secure. Why? Because Android is less secure…

Ninety-nine percent of all mobile malware in 2013 targeted Android devices. Android users also have the highest encounter rate (71 percent) with all forms of web-delivered malware — Cisco

Like Fandroid, Cisco is not in the business of hating Android.

If there is a conspiracy to deny or obfuscate the truth about Android security, the most likely source is Google…

What’s your take?

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