Why is the privacy of an iPhone user greater than a non-iPhone user?
This thought came to my mind while I was writing for my technology blog. You might be aware that there is a legal case going on between Apple and the FBI who has demanded that the company helps the law enforcement agency hack into the iPhone of the San Bernardino terrorist who might have used his device to communicate with other terrorists. You can read more about what the FBI wants from Apple, on this link:
What the FBI wants from Apple regarding the San Bernardino killings case and why Apple is refusing
It makes one wonder whether it is a freedom issue, an ethics issue or a legal issue. The Federal Bureau of…
Almost all the major technology companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft and Amazon are supporting Apple. They fear that once Apple helps the FBI hack into the iPhone of the San Bernardino terrorist, it will set off a chain reaction and many authoritarian regimes will be able to use it as a precedent and force the technology companies to make their user data available on one pretext or another.
Whereas I can clearly see the logic behind Apple’s reluctance, what about those who don’t use an iPhone?
In this particular case, the terrorist was using an iPhone and since the iPhone allowed him the “privacy” to hide his information from the law enforcement agencies, shouldn’t the same level of privacy be available to a person like me? I will give you a small example. Suppose I post something “objectionable” on the Internet. The law enforcement agency of my country can easily track me and hunt me down and I think this is true in almost every country. Although there are mechanisms available that can help me hide my location, but more or less, a person can be caught when he or she can be traced on the Internet. So my right to privacy can be easily violated if I’m using something that does not involve an iPhone.
On the other hand, if I use the encryption available on iPhone, I can interact with people and exchange with them all sorts of messages without worrying about getting caught. This gives me an advantage over people who don’t have an iPhone.
Another thing is from the victim’s point of view. If the iPhone cannot be hacked into, doesn’t it mean the privacy of iPhone users is more important than the justice the victims families seek? What about avoiding other terrorist attacks if the terrorists with whom the San Bernardino terrorist was interacting with can also be caught if the iPhone is hacked?
It is totally understandable that technology can be used for good and for bad. But when it is used for bad, you can’t just say “too bad”. There have to be workarounds.
I wonder if Apple is able to provide these questions.