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Google ASPIRE to Boost Android Security and Privacy

Google is stepping up its effort to improve the security and privacy of Android with a new initiative called ASPIRE (Android Security and PrIvacy REsearch). 

Google is stepping up its effort to improve the security and privacy of Android with a new initiative called ASPIRE (Android Security and PrIvacy REsearch). 

The new effort is to push forward the development of new security and privacy technologies for Android by encouraging cooperative applied research between the Android Security and Privacy team and the wider academic and industrial community. 

According to Google, the new initiative falls in line with Android’s open source nature, which has already enabled broad customization options. In addition to features, researchers, developers, service providers, and device and chipset manufacturers can also contribute to the platform with security improvements. 

The Internet search company says that investing and engaging in academic research also helps foster security features and, in addition to contributing to science, delivers new security and privacy features to users. 

“ASPIRE’s goal is encouraging the development of new security and privacy technology that impacts the Android ecosystem in the next 2 to 5 years, but isn’t planned for mainline Android development,” Google notes

The idea is to look beyond the next annual Android release, to allow for enough time to analyze, develop, and stabilize research before bringing new features to the platform, Google says.

The company is also hosting events and creating more channels to contribute research, to bolster collaboration with security researchers. 

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On October 25, at Android Security Local Research Day (ASLR-D), external researchers and Android Security and Privacy team members discussed issues and strategies on security research, not only for Android, but for the entire industry as well. 

“We can’t always get everyone in the same room and good ideas come from everywhere. So we’re inviting all academic researchers to help us protect billions of users. Research collaborations with Android should be as straightforward as collaborating with the research lab next door,” Google says. 

Researchers interested in the new initiative can submit Android security / privacy research ideas or proposals to the Google Faculty Research Awards (FRA) program; apply for research internships as students pursuing an advanced degree; or apply to become a Visiting Researcher at Google. 

They can also co-author publications with Android team members, outside the terms of FRA; collaborate with Android team members to make changes to the Android Open Source Project; and reach to Google with any security or privacy-related questions that may help with their research.

Related: Google Introduces Security Transparency Report for Android

Related: Monthly Patches Are Recommended Best Practice for Android, Google Says

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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