Phone, tablet, and IoT gadget makers will have to state when they’ll stop providing security updates for new devices entering the market, the UK’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) vowed this morning.

Today’s pledge would see existing plans for internet-connected tat extended to smartphones and tablets, which is a large step for a scheme originally put together for landfill Internet-of-Things devices such as webcams.

The plans are likely to meet stiff opposition from device makers as end-of-life dates for devices are usually an open secret among the tech-savvy but stating them at the launch of a brand new bit of hardware is unlikely to be popular with manufacturers’ marketing teams.

See https://www.theregister.com/2021/04/21/ukgov_death_dates_smartphones_iot_security/

#technology #mobile #landfills #security

@AgreeableLandscape
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Most Android phone manufacturers be like “Death date: Immediately.”

GadgeteerZA
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Well they’d have to think differently - plan for making updates easier to keep doing, maybe launch 3 phones instead of 6 at a time which all differ readically, etc.

@DorianSinDeep
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That’s a pretty cool development if it happens

kazutrash
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Android Manufacters be like

@rootinit
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I think they should, but I wouldn’t want it to be a government mandate or anything.

GadgeteerZA
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Thing is they definitely are not doing so, and we the consumers are just buying the glued up devices that only get 2 to 3 years of updates. It’s one reason why after 9 years of using Android I decided two months to go back to Apple to get 7+ years of updates and opt to pay to have my phone’s battery replaced. I’m sick and tired of paying $1,000 every three years for a new phone.

@nutomic
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You spend 1000$ for a new phone? Is there any noticable difference to a 200 or 300$ phone these days?

GadgeteerZA
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True not as far as general usage goes… but amazing that even at that price it still last so little time. Not like it gets updates for 4 or 5 years.

@rootinit
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This is why Linux phones are really something I hope can mature.

@jazzfes
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Why not?

@rootinit
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Because it’s not as though things like that are so easy to predict, and it would most likely become another government creep that we have handed over to them, never to be taken away again.

@martini1992
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The only way to counter disingenuous corporate tactics is to legislate against them, I don’t see a problem with this.

@jazzfes
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I get the concern in general, but I’m not sure how this would apply here. What specific problem would this cause? It seems it only addresses malpractice of large corporates.

Also, those things generally are easy to predict because software/hardware cycles are planned. They mostly don’t happen randomly. I’m working in an industrial sector. There we clearly communicate to the clients that supports ends when 2 additional major versions are released. Pretty straight forward really…

@rootinit
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We have fundamental differences in the role of government. This is why I will get downvoted to hell here.

@jazzfes
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I feel the attitude towards the role of government should be pragmatic. I.e. government sometimes feeds itself, sometimes feeds corporations and sometimes feeds the people. In this specific example I would argue that the initiative is good for the population at large and hence something we should support. Where gov’s action feed itself or corporate, that’s an entirely different question and would warrant (from my POV) a different response.

In this specific case, I just don’t see the downside. It’s addressing corporate malpractice.

PS: no downvotes from me

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