Alongside the battle in the courts over the demand by the FBI that Apple unlock the San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone, there is also a public relations battle. Public opinion is pretty split on the matter. A recent poll by the Pew Research Center shows 51% of those surveyed support unlocking the phone, while 38% are against it. Why is it such a polarizing topic?
It doesn’t help that Apple and the FBI are sticking to their respective arguments without acknowledging that the outcome can impact both privacy and the safety of the public. Apple has put forth a strong claim in favor of privacy, while the government claims it is just trying to do justice by unlocking the iPhone of a terrorist.
For this legal battle, in which the court of public opinion plays a role, these polarizing positions are to be expected. You may hear more polarizing statements on Monday as Apple announces its latest product updates, and as the evidentiary hearing on this case unfolds on Tuesday. For example, on Monday’s announcement of the 4-inch iPhone, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook stated: “We need to decide as a nation how much power the government should have over our data and over our privacy.” Here’s hoping you won’t buy into these unilateral positions, for your own sake.
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