Apple has taken on many major players over the years. First, of course, they vied for position against Microsoft in the home computer market. They went up against RIM (Blackberry) and Google’s Android operating systems in the mobile market. In both instances, Apple emerged as a standout, showcasing not only fortitude for their mission, but also backing up its swagger with impressive technology.
As the company continues to innovate and serve their fan-base, their market share also continues to grow. And with this growth comes the need to ensure user data is safe and secure; after all, the iPhone is part of the mobile generation in which people store sensitive information in their devices.
But Apple is taking on new opposition this week, in an unprecedented case of personal data security. In the wake of [school attacks like that of] San Bernadino, the FBI has requested that Apple assist with the domestic terror attack by probing into the iPhone 5c used by gunman Syed Rizwan Farook to acquire any more information pertaining to the attacks. This process involves overriding the security lockout function of Farook’s device so that the FBI can gain an “unlimited number of guesses” at the gunman’s passcode.
While Apple vehemently refused to take part in this, a US District Court judge ordered the tech company to oblige.
As you might expect, tech [security] experts remark that the result of this case would be a landmark in the balance of “privacy and civil liberty against government data access.”
Indeed, network security firm Twistlock chief strategy officer Chenxi Wang goes oin to say, “If Apple succeeds in fighting the court order, it will set up a high barrier for the FBI and the other government groups to access citizen data from now on. This will absolutely have a ripple effect. Apple is now viewed as the flag bearer for protecting citizen data, and if they succeed, there will be a flood of other companies following suit.”
Of course, the opposite could also be true: should the FBI win this case, it could spell the end of full user privacy.