Call it an annoyance for some, but is it a win for security?
With Netflix’s latest Android app update, some are finding that the app is showing incompatible for their device within the Google Play Store. Those that are receiving this unwelcome notice are those that have rooted devices.
While many thought that this was some sort of glitch, Netflix has in fact, blocked rooted devices. In a statement from Netflix, “With our latest 5.0 release, we now fully rely on the Widevine DRM provided by Google; therefore, many devices that are not Google-certified or have been altered will no longer work with our latest app and those users will no longer see the Netflix app in the Play Store.”
However, the app still works on rooted devices. Even the updated app, but users will have to obtain it outside the Google Play Store. It is quite obvious that Netflix has chosen this method to protect their own property, but we must wonder, how many apps will follow suit? This does not bode well for those with rooted devices.
I’m of the opinion that this is a good thing. A rooted device is not a secure device. In fact, there are whole strains of malware that will only work on rooted devices. This is of course because rooting a device is opening doors which malware would need to force open to work. Rooting the device means that their is no force necessary for these forms of malware.
People root devices for various reasons. Primarily for customization reasons. Getting the ability to get rid of junk that is preloaded on devices is something understandable. Removing TouchWiz from a Samsung device would seem like a necessity. But by doing this the users are risking malware infection, or at least placing themselves more at risk. I wonder, how many of these users whom root their devices will choose not to if popular apps are suddenly not available to them any longer?