Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Security Versus Privacy

If you have been seeing the news lately, then you may have heard that the federal courts have ordered Apple to enable the FBI entry into the iPhone of the San Bernardino shooter.  A fairly simple request at first glance, but one that has serious repercussions.  It is a question about democratic freedom and the right to privacy verse security and the greater welfare.  As of today, Apple is defying an order to comply and create a means to get around its security features.

Security verse privacy is not just limited to this particular case, it is an issue that we face every day.  Our right to privacy, up to a point, but lost at times for the sake of security.  We face that test ourselves every time we go through a security line, at the airport, at a concert.  Whenever we are a part of a crowd, our privacy gets squeezed for the purpose of security.  When police go after potential threats and possible criminal behavior, they get judicial authorization to enter homes, to tap phones, to secure computer hard drives, and other means to restrict privacy for the security of the greater population. 

It seems they are on a scale that slides back and forth from one end to the other, from full privacy to full security.  There is little black and white these days in our world but many, many shades of gray.  In Apple's case, it is their Enigma Code, a proprietary security feature on their devices to remove threats of illegal entry.  Privacy AND personal security.  And to find a solution to such a code opens Apple up to removing consumer trust in their product and our personal data. By creating such a "master key" as Tim Cook says in the re/code article, all privacy could potentially be lost.  We face security issues and privacy invasion every day as hackers try to steal everything from credit card and bank information to social security and health records. Creating such a key could potentially open us all up to more threats. 

For the specific iPhone involved in the San Bernardino case, what answers the iPhone may yield are hard to know unless it is unlocked.  And what future privacy issues become created should Apple create a means to unlock its device, could be at stake.  It is a slippery slope and one that cannot be taken lightly.