What if someone could scroll through your iPhone right now? And see everything? What would they be able to know about you? Many of us store our entire lives in our phones with plenty of personal information that we would not want in the wrong hands. They hold all of our personal conversations, notes, photos, bank information, health data, and worst of all, our location.
Tim Cook, Apple's chief executive officer, recently released a letter to the public, wanting to make us aware of a scary possibility. As it stands now, all of Apple's customers' information is encrypted to the point that Apple can't even use their own customers information. So all of our information is theoretically safe with them, at least for now. Apple was a part of the investigation for the San Bernardino terrorist case, and their professionals were working with the FBI as Apple gave them all the information in their possession to help solve the case. But then a scary proposition was put on the table.
The FBI wants Apple to build a backdoor to the iPhone, They want them to create a version of the IOS system that they can put on a particular iPhone in order to access it fully and extract the information they want. This could be used to access any information on any phone. As of now, Apple refuses, they are well aware that once the program is created, it won't only be used once, and it's a tool that could very easily fall into the wrong hands. Cook said in the letter, "Once created, the technique could be used over and over again, on any number of devices. In the physical world, it would be the equivalent of a master key, capable of opening hundreds of millions of locks — from restaurants and banks to stores and homes. No reasonable person would find that acceptable." This is a terrifying possibility, but one that we are luckily being made aware of.
In order for this to work, this means that the engineers at Apple would have to work against themselves. They have spent years trying to make sure that the information that we store with them is not just accessible by anyone else with a master key. They would have to undo those years of trying to keep out cyber criminals and hackers, and just hand them a key to all of our important information. Unfortunately at the end of the letter, Cook tells us of a scary circumstance. As opposed to asking for legislative action from congress, the FBI is proposing to implement the All Writs Act of 1789 to grow its own power. If they are able to use this, then they could legally force Apple to breach everyone's data, intercept messages. and track your location. As of now Apple is resisting the order, and hopefully they continue to. If not then there will be a major issue in data security, all of our lives will be an open book. But at least we are being made aware of the fact, and we must stay aware. Because if we are capable of being watched and tracked 24/7, should we not all be aware of the fact?