Drawing the Line Between Customer Safety and Privacy

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Published March 23, 2016
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The Montclarion
Photo Courtesy: John Karakatsanis (Flickr) https://www.flickr.com/photos/johnkarakatsanis/15856447556/in/photolist-qabrqQ-oZu1j6-gmotzR-22M27b-4Bvdjq-fuHnAu-4BvdjU-fuwqfP-pU7Qtw-pUToR1-qchgGT-BRrSam-nv7Ek-6hVRkc-brRnyw-4UoVo8-nC3hZs-5m9fVq-9ESdLf-4Ut9bS-pWmtjJ-5CFiBT-4UoVXH-oZr561-9EPasx-buWxvH-9EPfVX-tRQyRg-5MvyWD-fuHnEj-x6Y1H-8FFrqn-oZqX9L-BJaeAu-8FFs9R-pDMEir-pWdjRv-hCa4pP-r7jq6o-pWmsE7-pWdm7r-pUUycA-Cwe6SU-4BqVY2-4BqVYK-pUUwMw-pcSZBj-oXnUWd-4Bvdmy-pfGF6R

Imagine having a key that could unlock any house or business building in America. Now, imagine that key getting into the wrong hands. The thought alone is jarring, and now Apple is using that exact idea as their main argument in an ongoing court case against the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

The FBI is ordering Apple to create a “master key” of sorts for their iOS software to unlock an iPhone retrieved from one of the attackers behind the San Bernardino shooting that left 14 people dead last December.

Apple states that the technology required to unlock the phone that belonged to the deceased shooter does not exist, could fall into the wrong hands and thus lead to a catastrophic privacy concern for iPhone users across the globe.

Numerous tech companies across America have come out in support of Apple and its privacy concerns. Tech titans in support of Apple include Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Twitter, Yahoo!, LinkedIn, Snapchat and many more.

I stand with these companies and Apple. Creating a weaker version of iOS with a master key would be a massive mistake. Any Apple user would then be vulnerable to the possibility of this weakened software being used on them.

While the FBI claims it will only use the master key once, it can never be promised. Once the technology is out there, it cannot be controlled or contained. Although the intentions behind the FBI’s wishes are on the side of justice, what they’re asking of Apple is simply too much.

Who is to say that, if granted the power to do so, the FBI will stop with Apple? They would be given the jurisdiction to force any technology company to weaken their encryption and security measures at their leisure. Overall, the potentially global privacy concerns of the master key outweigh the FBI’s wishes in this case.

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