The Apple Debate: Privacy vs. Security

Written by: Nikki Stetzler, AAE for the Ellensburg Downtown Association

The Apple Debate: Privacy vs. Security

Recently Apple has refused to comply with a federal court order to help the FBI gain access to data from an iPhone owned by one of the San Bernardino shooters.

The iPhone in question is locked and requires a password for the information on it to become available. The problem, however, is that Apple’s security functions on the iPhone will scramble all the data on the phone should an incorrect password be entered more than ten times. As such, the FBI wants Apple to develop software that would allow them to access the phone.

According Apple CEO Tim Cook, obeying the order will result in a threat to the privacy of all iPhone users.

This is because once a master key is created, there is no telling who will get their hands on it and how it will be used. The FBI claims that they would only use the master key for this one instance.

I myself happen to find that claim to be ridiculously false. They may not have the intentions of using a master key more than once. But once they have it, they will use it. It’s like putting a big red button in front of a little kid and telling them not to push it.

This incident has sparked a debate over privacy and security across the nation.

On the one hand, by refusing to help the FBI, Apple will essentially prevent the FBI from gaining potentially vital information. On the other, the FBI is asking for a way to access personal information that Americans should have the right to keep to themselves.

The FBI’s request is a violation of our constitutional rights. It’s founded with the intention of keeping us safe, but the risks it would create for our personal privacy may outweigh the good.

As a public relations student and consumer of Apple products, I support Apple’s stance on this issue. Apple has a reputation to maintain.

How could you trust your iPhone to store your personal information when you know there’s a way for someone to gain access to it? How do you know that once the FBI gains access to technology that can look into your smartphone that they aren’t just going to use it to spy on whoever they want?

It wouldn’t be the first time the US government used technology to keep an eye on their citizens.


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