With the recent bout of exploding Note 7s, it seems like Team Samsung may be on the losing end against Team Apple but wait, there’s a more important rivalry than that…
Team Apple vs Team FBI
It all started in February when FBI requested for Apple to create a software to break into the iPhone of San Bernardino gunman Syed Farookthe to access data that would assist in their investigation. Of course, Apple opposed the court order, claiming it would compromise customer data security.
Both positions seem valid. However, it seems remarkable that tech companies are actually fighting for the rights of us consumers. Perhaps, if we stopped to think… The very information they refuse to hand over to the government, they do so to commercial third parties for profit.
On the other hand, the motivations of government surveillance seems elusive in the name of national security. That’s when George Orwell’s notion of “Big Brother is watching you” swings in. Maybe there’s no escaping this panoptic society. Though watchdogs like Julian Assange help to tip the balance for us occasionally, yet ultimately, it is still very difficult to come to a conclusion at this juncture.
Therefore, it makes us supportive of the increasing trend towards encryption and we do see tech companies jumping on the bandwagon to gain consumer support.
According to Fuchs (2014), privacy is an individual phenomenon that can be protected if users act in the right way. A recent report from Amnesty found that apps like Snapchat and Skype ranked low on privacy due to a lack of encryption. So maybe having a strong encryption option is the answer to protecting one’s privacy. Maybe it’s time for us consumers to make conscious choices regarding our privacy.
Nevertheless, one thing’s for sure. It’s time to make a stand.
Fuchs, C. (2014;). Social media: A critical introduction. Thousand Oaks, Calif: SAGE.