Google Pixel 4a 5G: after OTA upgrade from e-1.5-r to e-1.6.r (Android 11) the bootloader gets unlocked

My steps:

  1. Downgraded Google Pixel 4a 5G from Android 12 to Android 11 stock firmware12
  2. Installed /e/OS 1.5 r (Android 11) with Easy Installer
  3. Everything was working (bootloader locked)
  4. Start OTA Update installation of / it was also offered
  5. Reboot
  6. Boot loader is unlocked now

Maybe somebody has experience on this and can answer these questions:

Is that intended that the bootloader is unlocked after OTA?
How to avoid the unlocked bootloader after OTA?
How to lock the bootloader without doing a complete device wipe?

You can’t relock bootloader with /e/, except on Fairephone.

Thanks for the information @piero. That’s still kind of scary to me.

A some years old (but quite extensive) list of implications leaving the bootloader unlocked:

At least if the device is encrypted (what seems to be the default meanwhile), the methods to download the user data of an unlocked device become more difficult.

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