The latest update by Google to Android, Android 4.3, included a feature called the Android Device Manager. Users can use it to track their stolen or lost device by using an online portal. It’s pretty handy, but the CyanogenMod team think it could’ve been executed a bit better. You see, if the device or the account gets compromised, the risk of important personal information being stolen is quite large, because there’s no login procedure involved. CyanogenMod will incorporate a new feature called the Cyanogen Account that will help users secure their device, but in a totally transparent way.
There are already third-party services providing the option of wiping or locking your device remotely. The issue with these services is that all the data regarding your device is stored on the service-provider’s servers. So naturally, these high-value servers will always run the risk of being hacked. Call it paranoia, but your device is never really secure, even with these services installed. That’s where the CyanogenMod Account will come in.
It’ll be part of future CyanogenMod releases, and will be a completely opt-in feature. But the developers claim that the user’s phone’s security information will be completely hidden from outside sources. And as this isn’t linked to any Google service, users will be required to log in to CyanogenMod’s web portal to be able to access their device’s location. To prove that they’re not amassing any data, the developers have already released the source code to the CyanogenMod Account module, so anyone can have a look and see if their claims are hollow.
The ‘locate your device’ feature is the first feature to take advantage of CyanogenMod’s new Account system. Users will be able to access the location of their device by going to https://account.cyanogenmod.org and logging in. This is a positive open-source approach to an existing solution. That the data isn’t being stored anywhere on hackable servers is definitely a plus. Users can access CyanogenMod Account in the settings menu under the Accounts and Sync option.