Target: Tim Cook, Chief Executive Officer of Apple, Inc.
Goal: Praise Apple’s decision to update its mobile device technology to stop law enforcement from bypassing consumers’ pin numbers and passwords
Many Americans have come to expect that their phone calls will be monitored, their text messages collected. The mass surveillance of average citizens is no longer seen as a conspiracy theory, and new revelations about its scope continue to come to light. This doesn’t mean consumers want to have their every communication monitored, of course. Smartphone giant Apple recently made a big move to help protect consumers’ privacy–a move likely to inspire other companies to do the same.
CNET reports that at one point Apple maintained a wait list of law enforcement requests to decrypt iPhones and iPads. Law enforcement agencies were unable to bypass suspects’ passwords and encryption on their mobile devices, leaving them to turn to the tech giant for help. There was even speculation as to whether or not the company had created a “back door” for the police, raising privacy concerns as the searches were often conducted without a warrant.
Likely moved by intense public pressure Apple has decided to eliminate its own ability to break into consumers’ smart phones and tablets, thus ending its questionable partnership with law enforcement. Apple also promotes use of its FaceTime and iMessage apps which are strongly encrypted, making them secure alternatives to traditional phone calls and text messages.
Apple’s chief executive officer, Tim Cook, issued an open letter emphasizing the company’s respect for consumer privacy. “Government information requests are a consequence of doing business in the digital age,” Cook explained. “We believe in being as transparent as the law allows about what information is requested from us.” He went on to assure the public that Apple has never created a “back door” to allow access to consumer data.
The company’s new encryption technology is already getting rave reviews from privacy watchdogs. Applaud Apple for taking these steps to safeguard consumer privacy.
Dear Mr. Cook,
I applaud Apple for taking great strides to protect consumers’ data against unlawful searches. Your innovations in encryption technology will no doubt drive competitors to focus more on security as well in a real win-win for the public.
You clearly understand how important privacy is to your iPhone and iPad customers. By helping protect their devices you are sending a message to law enforcement that Apple doesn’t want to be in the surveillance business. Thank you for making the security of your mobile devices a top priority.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: DanielZanetti via Wikimedia Commons