When Apple announced the new encryption and security features in iOS 8, most people applauded the company for keeping the government from snooping on our phones. But, you might want to hold you applause for now. One government official is claiming that the new iPhone security measures will be directly responsible for a child's death soon or later.
Apple has said that the new security features in iOS keep everyone from snooping on your phone and seeing your personal information - that includes law enforcement and even Apple itself. Click here to read more about Apple iOS 8 security features.
In a meeting with Apple, an official from the Department of Justice argued that a kidnapper could use Apple's advanced security to evade detection by police or hide information from law enforcement.
The inability of law enforcement to access the data on that person’s phone, the official argued, would inevitably allow them to evade detection and kill a child.
So, does this claim have any merit or is the DOJ just upset that it's been locked out by Apple?
The new iOS security was likely developed as a response to user concerns about privacy. This year, we found out that in the past the NSA forced Apple and other tech companies to give it access to private user data. Since even Apple can't get into your iPhone with iOS 8, that shouldn't be a problem anymore.
But, law enforcement officials don't like that and have repeatedly claimed that Apple's new features will help criminals evade justice.
Apple is claiming that the DOJ is simply ramping up the rhetoric to try and force the company to do away with its advanced iOS security. It's saying that there are plenty of other ways police could get the information they need to catch criminals using cellphone information.
Apple execs reportedly decried the latest example in the government’s apparent war on privacy as “inflammatory” and said that the Department of Justice could acquire the information it needed to save the child from other sources, such as cellular carriers, in such a situation.
I'd tend to side with Apple in this argument. I don't want criminals to get away from police, but we already know that police officers have other tools at their disposal to track down bad guys using their cellphone data. Remember the controversial StingRay gadgets I told you about earlier this year? The U.S. Marshals are even tracking cellphones by plane to locate fugitives.