The FBI and United States Justice Department are planning to contact Apple and Google over the tech giants’ newly proposed policies, which would see the privacy of their users’ data be secured via encryption methods.
Bloomberg reports that government officials are seeking to prevent Apple and Google from making their users’ data more secure, as they claim that doing so would prohibit government surveillance that could lead to the prevention of crimes.
Cathy Lanier, chief of the Washington Metropolitan Police, said that the push towards enhanced user privacy was a “bad idea,” saying that the smartphone usage is “going to be the preferred method of the pedophile and the criminal.” She added: “We are going to lose a lot of investigative opportunities.”
It should be noted that in the wake of Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks, the government has not changed any of its policies when it comes to its surveillance of the public. Apple CEO Tim Cook stated that while the company had not formally allowed government officials to use their hardware and software to monitor users, he also stated that “government information requests are a consequence of doing business in the digital age.” While Apple claims that it has never offered the government a “back door” to obtain the information of its users, a percentage of those running an Apple operating system have been monitored through the OS.
The FBI is now appealing to Apple and Google to alter its privacy policies in regards to iPhone and Android devices, with the organization’s director James Comey saying: “What concerns me about this is companies marketing something expressly to allow people to place themselves beyond the law.”
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