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Google’s Pixel phones become first Android 11 devices to get MDF certification: Why that matters

The other companies that have got this certification continually are Apple and Samsung.

Google Pixel 4
Google Pixel 4 (Google)

Google’s Pixel smartphones are known in the smartphone world for their photography prowess and for getting faster software updates. Security, on the other hand, remains an under-discussed topic. But that changes now as Google’s Pixel smartphones have become the first Android 11-powered devices to get Common Criteria’s Mobile Device Fundamentals (MDF) Protection Profile certification.

That might sound like gibberish to a lot of people, but in effect, it is important, especially if you care about data security. Having this certification means that hackers can’t spy on you when you browse the internet when connected to a nearby Wi-Fi or your personal information remains safe even if your device gets stolen or is lost.

Smartphone makers often turn to independent certification to verify the security of their devices and CC’s MDF Protection Profile is required in a lot of companies as it ensures that a device has the strongest available protection.

The certification is performed by an authorised lab that looks at “real-world threats facing both consumers and businesses”, which includes network eavesdropping and attack, physical access, malicious or flawed applications, and persistent presence among other things.

Google mitigates these threats using a combination of hardware, that is, its Titan M chip, Android OS, biometric authentication system, and seamless OS updates among other things.

What makes this certification important is the fact that over the years, only two smartphone makers other than Google have been continually on every OS version. These companies are Samsung and Apple.

Google said that while it has gotten the certification, it is also making it easier for other OEMs to get this certification by making these security requirements a part of its Android Open Source Project.

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